Sunday, April 13, 2014

Diversion: Poetry by David Kirby, A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS

It's National Poetry Month, and one of my theories is that a good poem can lift an author past any tedious touch of "writer's block" to a fresh outlook. Even for mysteries.

Floridian David Kirby makes this very clear in his new book via Hanging Loose Press, A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS. In long-lined swinging stanzas the narrative almost scoots past the presence of meter and line -- and then, swinging back the other way, Kirby's merriment restores the form and its rhythm, with a gurgle of delight.

I'll just give a quick sample from the poem "Fat Dope Dealers," third stanza down (in between two segments about Jefferson Davis, leader of the South in the Civil War!):
What makes dope dealers so fat? I know, it's because they
    can make thousands of dollars each week by making a few
phone calls rather than hundreds delivering stuff and throwing
       their backs out or mowing people's lawns only to have
them say "you missed a patch over there" and not tip you.
Think it's easy to pull this off for almost 90 pages? It's not easy at all. But it's wonderful, and funny, and fun, and thoughtful. I'm so glad this book arrived in the mail. It was a great surprise. And it's available now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heck, we followers of swinging poetry have been following The Kirb for decades. Why he injected me with some of that monkey mash without me even knowing it, I don’t think he knew either. I’d swing so far as to say Kirby poetry is that which all poetry should be measured, but then I’d swing back and find myself in a whole bunch of monkey business. After all, we’ve just been trying to feed our families all along. And if we’ve had some fun on the way we’re in the right jungle. --Tom Todaro