Saturday, September 7, 2013

In Defense of the Attacked Center Pawn - Jason Heroux

Today's book of poetry:  In Defense of the Attacked Center Pawn.  Jason Heroux.  Puddles of Sky Press.  Kingston, Ontario.  2013.

I haven't had the privilege of reading Jason Heroux's 2012 Mansfield Press title Natural Capital yet - but after reading In Defense of the Attacked Center Pawn from Michael Casteels' Puddles of Sky Press, I can't wait.

     Summer evening: mixed-up winds carry the scent
     of blood from the bakery, the fragrance
     of bread from the butcher shop.

Heroux throws out genuinely new and astounding ideas like a laughing child throwing confetti at a wedding.  These short, short poems reveal no strategy whatsoever other than to blind the reader with wit, charm and a kiss for twisted brevity unseen since Richard Brautigan.

     We woke up in the middle of the endless war and heard
     our frightened clothes hastily packing themselves
     into other people's suitcases.

On every page Jason Heroux does some shadow-dance that convinces the reader, provides certain footing to move forward with, but it is all sleight of hand.

     I looked outside and saw a light trace of snow
     on the city sidewalk, hundreds of footprints
     floating like dead grey goldfish on the surface.

No chess player myself but I know when I'm being played.  Jason Heroux is a genuinely exciting poet to discover and already a grandmaster as he moves his reader about with ease, leaving a reward with every single move.

     Our calendar died, milk forgot to sour, nails failed
     to rust, and we ended up at the birthday party
     of someone who had never been born.

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