Friday, April 30, 2010

Reading Log

It was nice to immediately dive into Stuart Ross's poetry collection I Cut My Finger right on the heels of finishing his stories (Buying Cigarettes for the Dog). As with his prose, there's a lot to like about these poems. There is the same predilection for the surreal and absurd but much more abstracted and unrestrained. Quite a few of them left me mystified (as a lot of poetry is wont to do with me) and quite a few had me marveling delightedly at Stuart's incredible imagination and wordplay. Overall, a very worthwhile read.

Apr 30, 2010 4:36PM

There's a lot to like, as well, in Jason Heroux's poetry collection, Emergency Hallelujah. For me, it was especially nice to read an entire full length book of poems and not once be totally baffled by any of them. Heroux, like so much of my favorite writing these days, works in the surrealist/absurdist vein but with a much lighter, less aggressive approach than Schomburg or Stuart. There's less risk taking and less pushing language and syntax into rarefied territory. At times, I felt there was an over reliance on similes and recurring metaphors. But there were also a lot of deliciously imaginative formulations such as:

"The clouds overhead looked like crumpled
suicide notes."

So, quite an enjoyable book. Recommended especially for the poetically challenged such as I.

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