Thistle Bloom Books – October 17, 2007 – 2 Comments
Commute Poems by Jesse Ferguson
Reviewed by Joanna M. 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 BullMarble MasticatorMaster 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
But he needs to reduce the impetous to be clever and let the talent flow freely.
Joanna M. Weston has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty years. Has two middle-readers, The Willow Tree Girl and Those Blue Shoes; also A Summer Father, poetry, published by Frontenac House of Calgary, all in print.