If poetry is metaphor, which of course it often is, then I need to select an apt one to characterise/tag this collection of Colin Herd’s, so I’m going for Pinball Poetry which I trust is suggestively sprightly enough to counter any hint of trivialising.
Because I am not. For me, these poems are – here it comes – shot from their first line to propel their way here, there and everywhere, bouncing from one idea and language encapsulation to the next, often as complete tangents and often as links that are nonetheless surprising: the former exemplified in the scatterings of Poem on a bath mat / Poem on a shower curtain with its richly relentless line after line after line of
‘Hello Yes As Soon As Possible
obsessed with pumpkins and polka dots
all the sweat in and around and over’,
the latter exemplified in a – relatively – extrapolated take on
‘jouissance or puissance?’
from I doubt you want me which also contains two little but likeable jokes on the names Bill and Will.
Yet it could be in the way they are read. Poems like Book Lungs and Here I wriggle with a sunken butt are clear narratives – well, clearish in their linear momentums. My favourite sister’s uncle tells a delightful story.
What is a description anyway in a world that at all levels defies describing? What is truth? It would seem it is all a ‘chewed shape’ and Herd continues to see it appearing and disappearing and reappearing ‘more chewed than you remember’ and so the poetic grasp is a ping from one to the next, sprightly and chewable over and over and over for the reader.
Another bright nifty collection from The Red Ceilings Press, you can purchase here.