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Posts Tagged ‘roibeard ui-neill the 905 E. Elm tenement blues’


My attention was caught by “This Is All,” by Lance Lee, in this issue of Iconoclast. “My heart is my body’s poem / my mind a simile of light / at night.” Maybe just the load of metaphors was enough to interest me. “the hollow drum / of my want,” followed by “invaded by / a child’s tears,” followed by… The poem kind of summarizes itself: “At times I fell all I am is / a metaphor.” I’ve felt that way myself.

I liked “Untitled” by Pamela Thomas. “I hear them / Through the window… We laugh and joke / It is one sided.” An undercurrent of uncertainty, even fear, underlies this poem. “There isn’t much that / keeps me from / Devolving into / The crazed street person.” A sad beauty, here.

Rhoda Staley gives us, “Old Women.” “Where I live / the women are old…” It’s sort of a confrontation between an old style of Catholicism and the challenges of a younger women. Intriguing.

“The Titterings,” by John Kneisly is arguably a fantasy. “”Coming down stairs at night / you hear them whispering — / little nameless things.” There are a number of fun twists of language and thought here. “You couldn’t call them… creatures normally at home in twenty two dimensions / just now on pilgrimage through ours.” I very much enjoyed this poem.

roibeard ui-neill contributed “the 905 E. Elm tenement blues.” Another poem that refuses to stay tamed. “It’s been 9 years & counting / (down to what?) / since my brilliant career move.” Evidently the narrator has taken a position as super of a building. “These apartments are sliding into dilapidation / faster than I can swing a hammer.” It’s not the nicest building in town, either. “What you have here / is the landlord milking a cash cow.” I like the list of tasks, the sketches of the tenants, “Here’s my shoulder, & welcome,” the liveliness of the life depicted. “How quickly they re-cork their wine…” And a very apropos ending.

Finally, Jean Esteve writes a letter to the editor in the form of a poem. “Post War-of-the-Sexes Regrets / or A Counter to Iconoclast, Issue #116.” “I miss men. / Are we ever going to see them around again?” The narrator evidently lives in a world where men have been disposed of, and she is ruminating over the things men brought to her world that she misses now. Very fun, and a bit pointed, about the place of men in the world. “…if I looked indifferent, he could cover with a joke… possibly clean.” A delightful poem.

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.

Related blog posts:

Rattle 62 – Winter 2018

Blue Collar Review – Summer 2018

Apple Valley Review – Fall 2018

 

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