Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brood - Rob Thomas (A Bywords Publication)

Today's book of poetry:
Brood.  Rob Thomas.  A Bywords Publication. Ottawa.  Ontario.  2014.

Winner of the 2013 John Newlove Poetry Award

Best best best cover since Christian McPherson's The Sun Has Forgotten Where I Live.

Rob Thomas has a hell of a sense of humour. 

Check this out:

cereal killers

we have Rice Krispies
just where we want them.
we're gonna make'em talk.

carry on, Snap, with your terrible
death rattle, no crying over
spilled secrets, Crackles.
is that really all you have
to say for yourself, Pop?

next we break the Wheaties
and cast the Cheerios
before that horrendous tiger
with his frosty grin.


Rob Thomas takes some well known nursery rhymes memes and turns them on their heads with a light handed flip of direction and intention.  Thomas has a deft hand of unexpected tricks and treats for more than just Halloween.

These turgid little/short poems carry disproportionate weight as Thomas darkens the edges of everything just a little with Brood.

iv, missing children

that golden girl

isn't she that golden girl? Papa Bear remarks.
the one who was sitting in my chair.

Mama Bear swats the carton from his paw
and peers at the pixelated image.

you mean the one who tasted my porridge,
she corrects.

Baby Bear belches and levers
a hunk of gristle from his teeth with a claw.

and they say she's missing?


Rob Thomas entertains the hell out of the reader in this chapbook from Bywords Publications.

His Brood is that quiet whisper you hear that tells dark secrets.  

These are the new nursery rhymes that taunt all of life's safe moments, they bring little comfort but they are amusing  as all get out.

That discordant clang of a church bell in the distance, ringing when there is no need for it to be ringing.  This clarion call is quietly, malevolently reproaching the notion that the future will work out for the the good..

message in the bottles

sometimes you wish
you could squeeze the kids
into the trunk and drive
to Florida
where the toaster
sun brands the likeness
of you-know-who
into each well-braised
and sand-powered backside
where vegetables
swim in your cocktail
and you might swim as well
because here's cold
too cold to forget
or remember to even think
of paint bottles --
kaleidoscopic --
swelling in the trunk


Why does Today's book of poetry enjoy grim  -  the same reason the best humour cuts close to the bone.  Sometimes you just want to run around the fun house, getting startled by the scary clowns, the monsters in the dark.

Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is a stay-at-home Dad.  He's had an incredible life and you can read about it all here:  

The poem is succinct, funny, and disturbing all in one.  An irreverent revery about escape, and its potentially dire result.  The words are carefully chosen, but not precious, and effectively shaped into a potent little poem.
      --  Alice Burdick - 2013 Bywords John Newlove Poetry Award Judge


Poems cited here are assumed to be under copyright by the poet and/or publisher.  They are shown here for publicity and review purposes.  For any other kind of re-use of these poems, please contact the listed publishers for permission.

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