Reviews, Vol. 2.2, June 2008
Blood Pudding Press, 2008
Staple-bound, unnumbered, $7
Review by Cynthia Reeser
wing’d is one of the latest chapbooks from Blood Pudding Press. However, this reviewer does wish Kyle Simonsen hadn’t started off on his poetic foot with a reference to pop’s man-diva Kevin Federline. In “the ghost in Stafford’s machine,” Jay Leno is given equal treatment, but the language piques the interest:
in the steam of her orifices
i approached like Goodall’s gorillas . . .
. . . realized she
was the prime minister of some small country
no one Jay Leno interviews knows how
Others, like “canyons flood” and “often have they built their own windmills” are also full of interesting use of language and imagery, but it unfortunately falls short of making an impact because it is ungrounded to central metaphor or ideals. “said the machine to the poet:” though potentially elusive, is somewhat more successful:
shouldn’t you be sweating letters?
can’t you steal of a black muse?
why get a poet
to write a poem
when the poem
can in fact
Taken as commentary on contemporary writing, how interesting (though not new) that the work of art should be seen as separate from its creator where it writes itself. The poem’s ending confirms its mission: “‘you no longer are, nor ever will exist again,’/the/machine/said/calmly.” Once the author has served his purpose—that of writing the poem—his usefulness has been fulfilled and the poem becomes an entity of its own, a post-structuralist vision that would make Roland Barthes smile.
“my minions are everywhere,” formulates commentary on the poet’s role among other poets. The poet’s role, as that of a conduit, places him or her in a world full of many poets:
into collusion with cascading primates
surging through the ravine in a slurring blur of
boast and hum until looking up the curious monkey
sees a monkey bridge span the sky and cross the clouds
and she realizes she’s not the current, just carried along.
It is for moments like these that wing’d is recommended reading, and Simonsen a poet to watch.