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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Harrison Renewal’


Two poems in the Oct 4 issue of The New Republic.  The first is “Custody,” by Michael Tyrell, a sort of relationship triangle between the narrator, his mother, and Death.  “My mother’s old now…Soon she’ll have to go to school.  // Death will have to take her.  // He has her during the week, // I get her on weekends.”  Pretty cool idea, and he works it out in an amusing fashion: “I’d kill for a restraining order, // but that would require his assistance.”  And “he wasn’t a bad provider, // and everyone says // reconciliation is inevitable.”  It’s always such a gift to get an inspiration like that, but working it out in a surprising and original way is still most of the battle, and Tyrell pulls it off, with interesting lines all through, and a strong ending.  This is a poet who will definitely be worth watching as his career unfolds — he’s racked up an impressive set of chops already.

The other poem , “Renewal,” by Jeffrey Harrison, is about that familiar moment to us all, waiting at the DMV.  Since I just did that a week ago, maybe I am more impressed than I would be otherwise, but he sure found some of the (admittedly thin) fun in that situation.  “…two hours on one of those wooden benches // like pews in the Church of Latter Day // Meaninglessness…”  “one by one the members of our sorry // congregation shuffle meekly up…”  Such a nice tone of wry amusement, there.  He then relates a moment of incandescence, gives us a few quick sketches of characters, and ends with one character brimming with a secret excitement.  Over what?  Why, read the poem.  ;->   Definitely good poetry in this issue.

Peace in poetry,

P M F Johnson

My book of poems, Against The Night, a wry look at the love that builds throughout a marriage, is available on Amazon, and at other fine e-retailers.

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