Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Book Review - "Poems for the Lost Because I'm Lost Too by Exurb1a"

Poems for the Lost Because I'm Lost Too by Exurb1a

I'll get the prejudices out of the way. I hated the title. Turns out after reading the book, it's okay. I started off hating the presentation. After reading it I want to share it with everyone. Goes back to the old war horse: "don't judge a book - read it." 

Poetry? Well, if you accept that the poetry of the 70's is poetry, then yes. Hell, I've always loved Greg Wyss, Sam Schraeger, and Dave Maresh - so damn straight, I should (and do) love this work. 

I've learned to read three poems before tossing a book in the trash, and yep - it works! This second poem hooked me   - because I've been there - especially when I was "in college" - afraid that others would see my thoughts as "stupid" - realizing only much later that I was the only one who saw true thoughts as stupid, and abstract, made up, forced inane thoughts as interesting. Here's how Exurb1a puts it:

"when I first started

I used the fractured
line structure
I saw
clever poets employing in
their work; threw in semicolons,
wrote vaguely and incomprehensibly like a
banana in autumn mist
so I wouldn't get
stupid or

That got boring way quickly and I cut it out for the most part,
It felt terribly inauthentic, forever wearing one of those elaborate Venetian masks,
Not to knock style in general,
The thing just wasn't for me. . ."

So, is it, as Ferlinghetti once said, "all modern poetry is prose"? Perhaps. Doesn't matter in the end, because I was hooked and ended up reading every word in the book. Twice. Exurb1a is, quite simply, a writer who is fun to read. That matters. If he wishes to be called a poet, well - too bad for him. He could make a lot more financial gains by being a prose writer or a comedian. It's obvious though - financial gain is not his goal.

I laughed - a lot. Was amused. And even from time to time felt sad - because I saw myself in some of the people he pokes out at. And that's good - I may find myself being changed by a small book of poetry. And isn't that what reading poetry should be about?

Gate 3 Flamenco belongs in the New Anthology of 21st Century poetry:

"Two women dancing at the airport to no music, maybe a mum and daughter,
The departure lounge is wicked busy and the rest of us sit trying to pretend we don't see them,
They carry it on for half an hour, way past the point of performance,
Is this cringe? I think to myself,

Kids yelping and old men and women checking their boarding passes as though they might be in the wrong airport,
I give in to idle worry, that the plane will crash, that my best years are behind me,
All grey porridge and pretending now,
Strange wrinkles around the eyes,
Knowing anxiety will fix nothing
and only getting anxious about being too anxious,
Oh they're still dancing,

Hey, aren't we supposed to dance all the time?
Maybe we forgot to dance all the time?
I'd rather be them than me."

Yeah, the constant commas make me a bit nuts, but that's part of his "style" - - keep the reader uncomfortable with his prejudices. Yep, yep, yep, I liked tis book so much I actually decided to read four more of his books. If I survive the beating I'm given by the words, I'll come back and let you know if those books are worth the effort to find. This one, for sure - if either of the short excerpts made you smile, trust me - the whole book works just the same. Good times!

Click here to find your own copy to carry around!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.