Poems for the Weak of Heart

18 Jun

Boredom

Vice

and

Poverty

arrived in my mailbox yesterday. And I mean that literally.

It’s the title (taken from Voltaire’s Candide) of Michael Odom’s most recent chapbook.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 1.01.18 PM

Here’s a stunning image from his poem titledBoredom Poem #9:

“…in the chasm between life and life, philosophies breed and cannot help but swarm like bees with the queen on the move, alighting on lamp posts, forming masses, until some competent hand with calming smoke lifts her to a fresh hive; a salvation she & I cannot expect.”

And the poem, “Without Power:”

Let’s burn the computer for fuel and use
The TV for a hearth. Tonight I feel
Like a Zealot on Jerusalem’s wall.
 
The banks are closed now. And see, the sky
Has opened starry eyes. Look at my face
(In waning evening, clouds across the moon
Seem worry lines): no blemish, no wrinkle.
 
Our cards are maxed. There’s nothing we can buy.
But let’s not sleep. Touch. Feel for glass and trace
The wet rim. Let a deep note guide your pour.
 

Odom’s poems cover love, sex, death—oh yes, and boredom, vice, and poverty, those subjects that only this poet can illuminate so effectively by the light of the moon or a flickering TV screen. Lest you think it’s a depressing read, please know that Odom has a wicked sense of humor. How’s it feel to be a poet? He has an answer for you. 

Boredom Poem #3

It’s a competition: surfing. I grab a wave as it strides, poses, turns, and recedes. Then the next. Oh it’s so hard to choose one from the pageant, to say this one is the best one for this year’s monogamy. Or is this a workshop, with bulges and stubs called and deleted until I have chiseled the perfect long-legged poem. Or fifty of them. Each new, each year, and each I could love, generically, as they lap on me, gently. Or I could wet a hand shooting the tubes. Oh I could level the ocean with embraces like Jesus. Or I could masturbate in the pool.

Just know that at any given moment, that answer will change.

 

10 Responses to “Poems for the Weak of Heart”

  1. Letizia June 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Oh how I love the first line of this post, Jilanne!

  2. Margarita June 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Ah, change, the eternal constant. xoM

  3. FictionFan June 18, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Great image in the first quote indeed! And I love the cover art too.

  4. heylookawriterfellow June 19, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    These are great poems!

    And I already use my TV as a hearth; I have the yule log on DVD.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 19, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Have you tried the one for snow? We projected snowfall in a forest on a wall in our place for our Christmas Eve party last year. It’s amazing how you can sit and watch snow falling and feel like you’re looking out a window. Very restful.

      Oh yeah, you live in a place where all you have to do is look out the window and watch it snow. Never mind. 😀

  5. susanissima June 19, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Powerful, playful imagery. Dang, I love these snippets, Jilanne! More! More!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 19, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      “Boredom, Vice and Poverty” can be yours (so much fun to write that!) if you search for Michael’s work at Create Space. Cheers!

      And I’ll let Michael know you like his work. Thanks!

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