Monday, January 29, 2007

Mark Wisniewski: One Of Us One Night

Reviewed by: Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin has not met Mark. By inference, Mark has not met Christopher. For that matter, we can infer that neither Christopher nor Mark have met Robert Frost. And it is highly likely that Robert Frost never met Aristotle (who did not write poetry but was allegedly pretty good at math). Christopher is a reviewing madman! He just won't quit! Nor do we want him to! Give this fellow a gold star!

$5, Platonic 3Way Press, PO Box 844 Warsaw, IN 46581. Or, why not try:

The second in the Platonic3Way Evil Genius Chapbook series, Wisniewski writes deliberate prose-like poems of observation and funny circumstance, evocative of William Taylor Jr or Bukowski. Poems that create sparse images allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions: “& I’d keep standing& watching & she’d/dance/we’d never share/words/or money/or disappointment/it was a kind of celebration/generally impossible/in the world,” from ‘Waiting for the Elevator’, a poem about seeing a belly dancer in his hallway.

In ‘Mute,’ he finds fear in common with “rich whitey/on my ass in that Hummer,” in regards to the “leak in the nuke plant 10 miles west.” Over the years I have observed Wisniewski to have a gift for telling funny tales about being a somewhat hapless writer, in “An Office, Tons of Pussy, & Sabbaticals, Too,” and while describing a break up in ‘California Girl’: “but she didn’t deserve my computer/or printer/or monitor/so I carried these out/one at a time/placing each in the trunk/then slamming/it shut as I thought: there/but I’d just brought groceries/so again I returned/irked by how easily she could/leave me.”

Wisniewski also has a knack for making himself the butt of the joke, of surrendering to things he can’t control, like ants: “& I keep waking at 3 a.m./descending the stairs/to eat unsugared cornflakes/after kneeling on floorboards: a civilian forever/on watch,” (‘Sectarian Violence’).

My favorite poem in this chap is ‘Nebraska,’ a hitch hiker’s nightmare come true: “there’s a pistol/she said/under that sweatshirt/on the back seat/& despite myself I turned to see she was right.”

Wisniewski writes simple poems that are complex with human feeling and humor.

Blogperson says: could anyone possibly ask for anything more than the description in Christopher's last line? You should buy a copy of Wisniewski's chap, and see for yourself!

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