Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Justin Barrett's the uncertainty principle

Justin Barrett sent this little gem in the mail and guess what? The poems are translated into French! The uncertainty principle is Barrett’s newest collection of poems, published by Les Mi(ni)crobe. Mr. Barrett admitted he wasn’t sure if they were available for purchase on-line so I e-mailed the press and hoped they could read English since I do not know how to write, let alone speak, French. I have not heard anything from the press but Justin Barrett has given me permission to review it regardless. The poems are in English and then in French and almost all of them make me laugh. I’ll spare you the French translation as I’m sure I’ll butcher it. As usual, Barrett’s poems aren’t for the faint of heart so you have been forewarned:
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the good die young
-
a new study on the death rates
of writers was conducted by
a scientist from California
and his results showed that poets die
sooner than any other type of writer.
-
apparently, this finding is true across
cultural, racial, and gender lines.
-
novelists, playwrights, journalists,
how-to book writers;
all of them live longer
than poets.
it seems to be a side-effect
of writing poetry.
-
but, dying young and leaving
all the shit of this
world behind for
the rest of the writers to
write about is
just further proof
of the superiority of
the poet.
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Don’t you just love the arrogant attitude at the end of this poem? I also wonder where he found this study that inspired the poem. Justin Barrett typically has a biting “punch-line” in his poems that makes him stand out from others and I admire that.
-
-
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but, i must be better than that damn collection of yodeling CDs, right?
-
after years of suffering
through bad movies
and bad music
and bad television shows,
i finally tell my
wife that she
has horrible tase.
-
“the ultimate proof,”
she says,
“is the fact
that i chose you.”
-
we both laugh.
-
i, because i know
it’s not true.
-
she, because
she knows it is.
-
Again, this is a biting remark of a poem and it encompasses real life with a great title that at first appears to have nothing to do with the poem. Then after you read it, the title could easily work as the ending. This is a good example of a poem scaled down to its skeleton.
-
-
-
morning
-
After you wake
up and
leave in the
morning
-
i roll over
to your side
of the bed,
-
curl up in your
emptiness
-
and fall back
to sleep
in the ghost
of your warmth.
-
Mr. Barrett isn’t always biting in his writing, this is a great example of sentimentality pared down to its frame. Simple and engaging.
-
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If you enjoyed this little collection, you can see if it is available for purchase by e-mailing rvmicrobeATyahooDOTfr
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If you know French, you’ll probably get a response since I haven’t heard back yet. The collection is short and sweet, funny and entertaining.
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Thanks always for reading, please drop in again tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

8 comments:

Fragile Arts Quarterly said...

Wonderful pieces.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I enjoyed those poems, I think I read the report about poets dying younger, we get more depressed too I think...

j.b said...

Thanks PoetHound for the kind review. You are too much.

And thanks Fragile for the nice comment. It's much appreciated! :)

j.b said...

thanks Crafty, too. I missed you as you posted around the same time I did. I'm glad you liked the poems.

The report was a few years back. I'll to find it again. It was a study conducted using historical data, if I remember correctly. The cause was attributed to a higher rate of depression amongst poets, I believe. :)

j.b said...

Sorry to just inundate this post with comments, but here's a link to a story about the study regarding early death rates of poets:

http://women.webmd.com/news/20031211/death-stalks-poets

Poet Hound said...

Goodness, I've missed out on all these comments! I'm so glad to hear how much everyone enjoys the poems and thanks, Justin, for providing a link to the study. You've definitely aroused everyone's curiosity!

j.b said...

it's about the only thing i arouse...oh!

thanks to you, PH, for being kind enough to review my work. :)

Poet Hound said...

Always happy to do so!