Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jonathan Penton: Blood and Salsa/Painting Rust

Reviewed by: Christopher Robin

Christopher is a fine poet. So is Jonathan. They have met. But, have they met enough? Poets should get out of the house occasionally--shouldn't they? We will be conducting a CNN Poll on this issue.

$7. Available from Jonathan Penton, P.O. Box 930092, Norcross, GA 30093. Jonathan Penton runs http://www.unlikelystories.org/.

A split-chap containing 2 separate books in one.

In Painting Rust, Penton takes aim with biting pen, challenging poets in a time of war and in the face of American collapse; challenging the relevance of everything we as artists do. In ‘Regarding Your Career,’ he informs: “your rice-paper handcrafted signed and numbered achievements/ are worth less than the formaldehyde stuck/to a dead poet’s balls;” ‘In the Company of Them,’ follows a similar vein: “while the talking heads keep talking/and the bloggers keep on blogging/and the artists keep pretending/there is something left to say.” In ‘Post-Coital Depression’ he goes deeper, still questioning: “today I think of stacks of burning bodies/dictatorships established in the name of democracy/and the motherless sons who will come back to America/and do everything they can to bring it down/and what does that means to anyone, anyway?”

Penton establishes himself as a relevant, political poet without being the least bit preachy, boring or one-sided. He uses clear, direct language and never tries to resolve himself of blame.

In Blood and Salsa he writes about lust, love and loss. “I tire of such intricacies. I retreat to the childhood world of rock ‘n’ roll/childish, transparent, Oedipal—boy meets girl, boy fucks girl, boy bashes father-in-law’s head with a baseball bat/Simple, pounding rhythms, brainless ballads of loss/the sort of thing I can relate to. I seek simpler sexualities. I turn my back on majestic music and briefly wonder/what other people hear.”

1 comment:

Nobody Too said...

I have moved, and my chapbooks are now available at PO Box 4854, Albuquerque, NM 87196, or through http://jonathan.unlikelystories.org

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