Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today's book of poems, There Devil, Eat That.  Jonarno Lawson, Pedlar Press, 2011.
Lawson's There Devil, Eat That is by turns brilliant and banal.  The best of the poems in this collection are startling with insight and wit.  In several of these poems Lawon accomplishes that relatively rare feat of writing a modern rhyming poem that works.  There is nothing forced about the structure or tone, he isn't reaching for the rhyme or the rhythm.
Not all of these poems work though.  At times Lawson seems to have included poems that are closer to lark.  But it doesn't matter, the good far outweighs the rest.
I love the joy that is evident in the playfulness in the best of these poems.
Not being a fan of concrete poetry I find it amusingly appropriate to have to tell you that this collection ends with a concrete poem, Hold Me To The Light.  It is the best concrete poem I have ever seen.  It is so simple, clear and perfect as to astound this grumpy middle aged conformist.  I took me a couple of minutes to grasp what I was looking at - and then the laughter inside me erupted, a poem that caused instant and spontaneous joy.  A concrete poem at that.
Great title and some very fine poems in this attractive book.  I'll be looking forward to reading whatever Lawson does next.

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