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Archive for October 17th, 2007

Commute Poems by Jesse Ferguson

Commute Poems cover

Title: Commute Poems
Author: Jesse Ferguson
Publisher: Thistle Bloom Books
Year: 2006
Pages: na

Review by Joanna Weston.

From the content of Ferguson’s poems it is unclear which meaning of ‘commute’ he intends: to reduce a prison sentence; to make substitution; or to travel regularly over some distance to work.

There is real promise in his flights of language and his obvious love of words in this unpaginated chapbook of eleven poems. Unfortunately he falls into the trap of playing word games, as in ‘Lichen’:

Like Unto
   Mar Bull

Marble
   Masticator

Master Cater

His love of word-games leads him to use alliteration too frequently as in ‘A Vindication of the Flights of Seagulls’:

…the blanched bone updrafts of dawn
flays with squawking scalpel …

which goes on with ‘feathered fins giving push to pull’ and other alliterative sequences.

His free-form poetry, ‘Emily Carr’ shows promise of a talent:

… she … the ungainly spar tree
… the many cables and pulleys
they slung over her limbs to leverage
their burdensome wants …
have yet to produce buckle or bow
she remains totem tall
isolate

But he needs to reduce the impetous to be clever and let the talent flow freely.

Joanna Weston has an MA from the University of British Columbia. She has published in numerous anthologies and in magazines in Canada, the US, UK, and New Zealand, such as Canadian Women\’s Studies, Convolvus, Endless Mountains Review, Grain, Green\’s Magazine, Prairie Fire, Spin, Wascana Review, CBC Gallery, and many more…

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