Thursday, January 25, 2007

Christopher Robin: Freaky Mumbler's Manifesto

Reviewed by: Charles P. Ries

Charles knows Christopher. So sue me. I've read Christopher's book and very much liked it myself. So sue them. Or should it be so sue them and then sue me? Why are you so litigacious? Are you at a tourney (of litigation)? Does sueing suit you?

You can get Freaky Mumbler's Manifesto at: I Press On! Publications,
Post Office Box 1611, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1611
Price: $10
95 Pages/ 48 Poems
You can not, unfortunately, get this book from Amazon. Type in Christopher Robin, and all you get is something about a bear, which I found unbearable.

To one extent or another, poets draw their material from the worlds that surround them. These observations become our window to their soul. How wonderful it was for me to enter into Christopher Robin’s world through his second collection of poetry entitled, Freaky Mumbler’s Manifesto. True to form, Robin gives us a view from the street as he studies his circle of friends, poets, losers, and lovers. His stories are mesmerizing in their own right, but come to life due to his significant gift at creating memorable metaphors and word unions.

As I read Freaky Mumbler’s Manifesto I found myself underlining his odd word couplings. Here are a few examples. From “Who We Kill”: “The service workers who spend their pay / in local bars / and their imaginations on satellite dishes”. Or in “Clown Fish”: “gender mutant / of the sensual circus / lilting ghost radio / in my nerves”. In “Caveman Days (for Jules)”: “My girl friend is full of art and sensation / my girl is soft but wiry to the touch / barks at civilization / scoffs at my little vanities / bleeds on my white things”.

And again in “Butterfly”: “That summer in your lovin bus / in Big Basin / you introduced me to “speaking breathing / standing people” / I use to call them trees / and to the angels and fairies / all things that walk without words”. In this collection we see Robin maturing as a writer and poet. His signature bent-in-the-brain view of the world is still wonderfully evident, but now, more often than not, he elevates humor with revelation and pathos.

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