Thursday, July 07, 2011

Emergency Room Wrestling by the dirty poet

Emergency Room Wrestling
the dirty poet
Words Like Kudzu Press
ISBN 978-0-9753862-1-7
$10.00 2011

The reality of this poetry book is…, all the phrases that come to mind
have been said so many times that they have lost their meaning…I'll say,
the poems are profound in a wrenching sort of way, 'sort of way,' is not
how these poems come across, it's more like…lifting, "400 pounds." And
I for one, have not been trained to lift 400 pounds. My superhuman
abilities are pushing too many abstract thoughts through a straw… "oh
no-the rectal trumpet popped out again, there she blows"…:

"hospitals exist; misery is real
this book is imagination
driving a lamborghini of experience"

Hell, I didn't know what was going on beyond my safe haven, behind
the door where I sit, writing on paper…after reading a few poems from,
"Emergency Room Wrestling," I'm ready to slit open a vein and bleed
on the rug where the cat took a leak. The reality in this book leads to
the 'truth' and the truth is humor helps when nothing else doses (does):

"as these things go, it's a happy ending
he tried shooting his girlfriend in the face
the gun jammed so he turned it around
aimed it under his chin and pulled the trigger
surprise -- it unjammed
the bullet tore through the mouth
and exited the left eye, missing the brain entirely
and even though he arrested thrice
before we got a breathing tube in
a week later we're shuffling him out of intensive care
"hey look, Sure Shot's leaving," I say to my partner jeff
to which he responds, "you mean Old Dead Eye:

How does the dirty poet fit into the books I live in or the life I live as
a reviewer? We already have Bukowski, Rimbaud, and now we have to
try to get through the backroom door into the alley where the dirty poet
remains faithful to his own existence. I'm operating on what is present but
I get to put my feet up, sip my latte and make choices about what to say…
and so does the poet and he does it so well it takes my breath:

"in the ICUs people are so fucked up
so gone, ventilated, sedated, deficit
that they're ghosts lying there
only afterwards, if they survive
are they reborn as people
strolling though the units
thanking medicos they don't remember"

The book would be impossible to read without the poet's sense of humor.
His humor saves the poems, lifts like a limp noodle gone stiff after days
on the floor. I say halleluiah and praise the Lord. Even though the author
might not enjoy reading that praise, I repeat, raise your glass, clink praises
for a work well done. I'm voting for the dirty poet for president or a
book award, but I don't have that kind of power:

"holy shit"
"heard about the doctor running for the hospital elevator?
the doors were closing so he stuck his head in
which is shocking enough
but imagine the folks inside the elevator"

"an easy night"
"last night I got my ass kicked in trauma
juggling bodies, crises, bloody tracheas
wall-to-wall patients gasping for air
tonight's different: seems like a light evening
i'm rendering treatments to acceptable ill folks
go in this room here, full of family
it's a cheerful scene
the old fellow seems fine
oh shit
no toes on either foot"

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

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