Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hold Tight: The Truck Darling Poems by Jeni Olin

Hold Tight:
The Truck Darling Poems
Jeni Olin
Hanging Loose Press
ISBN: 978-1-934909-14-0
2010 $18.00

Jeni Olin writes with speed, she pierces the page and the reader tries to imagine what it means to exist:

…"Sharks keep moving to prevent dying.
People keep moving too, unwittingly staving off
the comfort of stasis, the virility of expiration, blah, blah…
But death, the great highlighter, makes us all shine
a bit more dearly. I'm a widow child who needs sunblock"…

The poet keeps fighting, aiming, she strikes our minds. She will become a marks woman and we will be calling her Athena. The goddess of cities and crafts and war. Provocative art/poetry challenges our idea of what a poem's intention is. It challenges the writer as well. It takes courage to present oneself as who one is. Athena was born, from the head of her father Zues, in full armor, she emerges ready for battle. The conflict exists, in that, at first, the poet takes aim at whatever moves, killing enemy and friend. With time Athena puts down her spear and invents a bridle to control…

"O flaked ice, I'm so lost without my Maker's Mark.
Angina, transport me into a private room at last
to take the corner off of today, smeared with
the heart tissue of angels, Live! With the tweezers
of tiny heroes, pull Apollo crabmeat from the legs
of the Breakdown Republic - anemic royalty hurling
a full Coors at America, auburn curls wicked tight
& cheekbones flushed with tidy adventure. A plague
on both your brownstones! I can feel this elite
in the Ethers & in the land of Coca-Cola, but tonight
I was "corrected" at the gym & felt shame. A column
of coral flame shot up like Vikings with powder room

Olin narrates the impossible; being hit by a truck there is little chance of surviving. Olin hits my sense of security and hell, I don't like it. She drives the poem: she's working on being a good poet and I find her writing shattered and interesting.

"Isn't it crazy that Last Night a DJ Saved My Lyfe,
that Sakharov created the bomb & that we chew on
each other's genitals? A minor friar of chastity
& obedience, my faith is full frontal with stunt
men on fire, the works. You've dented my lunatic
belief in the future. Frazzled, male children pat
the earth, of course they do. I record rituals
to give grief form, of course I do. My loins act
like a Chia Pet when you neglect them. A hybrid of
gauze & puffy toothpaste, these are kawaii clouds
in dark days of floating teddy boys, miscreants
in tow. I smoke, I tan, I drink, I puncture
the time warp continuum with shivs, Chex Mix
for guests under the influence. Thank you so awfully
much for your time& consideration, but before I
let you go today, I'd like to schedule a celluloid
screening of how the atoms misbehave inside when
you speak that way to me. I can' get through
to you, this alone. But I can get through, alone"

Irene Koronas
Ibbetson Street Press
Poetry Editor:
Wilderness House Literary Review

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