Saturday, November 01, 2008

Featured chap: DJ Dolack: The Sad Meal

The Sad Meal The Sad Meal by DJ Dolack

rating: 4 of 5 stars

This chapbook exceeded my expectations: too often, I'm more won over by the aesthetic appearance of a limited-edition chap than by the poems within. Call me a last-century curmudgeon, but I still believe that good poems should engage the reader somehow. These poems are loose and rangy enough in their imagery to feel "edgy" without falling off that edge into clever obscurity. Dolack's work here is well-crafted and rewards the reader on multiple visits--at just 18 pages, it's not a long read. Good poems. I hope to see more of his work soon. Here's a sample poem:


All of it. Sand on the heels of my jeans
picked up from Coney Island and tracked
back through Jersey into the country.
My busted headlight trilling through the dark
like an aching fighter. Brother paralyzed in bed,
cancer's acid vanishing his stomach.
His spine twisting like a joist: a house
growing over itself. His hips: a pier buckling.
At times I have introduced myself
as an only child. When he dies, I will shave my face
and follow him until he is put in place.
My one eye closed to mimic the car,
I drive off the road
and into a tree three miles from home. It's nothing.
The two of us sing together in the time
before someone finds me.
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Thanks to Brent, I'm addicted to goodreads. No, I mean I'm really addicted.
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Head smack to Aaron: I left a message on your blog a month ago. Be nice and respond.
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We're making crabapple jelly this weekend. When I got home on Thursday, I picked a grocery bag full from our tree. It was cold and windy; I'd shove one hand in my pocket to warm up while I picked with the other.

Randy just found his recipe, which calls for five pounds of crabapples. I picked twenty pounds' worth.

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