Within The Grand Scheme by Joseph Veronneau is a collection of poems that is dead-pan, and at times, morbid. Poems that tend towards the morbid in life are my favorite kind to read and I have dog-eared the majority of the pages. Joseph Veronneau’s poems open your eyes to the more trying sides of life, the less fortunate circumstances caught up in brief moments. Here is a sample below:
Ignoring The Goodbyes
Battling insomnia, I got
up once, wandered the kitchen.
When nothing interested me there,
I tried to read. No focus.
Finally, I sought the drawers
nearest my bed, and dug deep.
Once holding the steel near my head,
I thought maybe I could stop time
inside the gun, freeze things
so that I could see the reverse
of my thoughts
After rolling the barrel a few times,
I stuck it back in the drawer.
I heard hands clapping inside,
but ignored them.
This poem is dangerously close to an unhappy ending and I love that Mr. Veronneau ends it with applause that erupts inside the barrel of a gun. It’s imaginative, unexpected, and leaves a reader holding their breath uncomfortably for a moment. It’s a poem that can have real effect on you as you read it instead of something you absorb, then turn away from.
Where her imperfection lies,
at the bottom of her pantleg
the one who claimed
that I was the first to
She explained it to me
as she wriggled out of her jeans;
almost preferring to keep that last
bit of cloth attached,
shield away that bit of unbeauty
How the doctors
scraped and scrubbed
to get it off initially,
realizing after failed attempts
that it, too, was attached.
I think now at times
of the man she must reveal it to now:
how in the evening light, he attempts
to belittle the discomfort of showing,
a task to which I pretended
to care nothing of.
At the time
I was content to grip the waistline,
drag them down a bit, ass-revealed,
and undo myself in equally dark light
that confined us between
the doorway of learning
and of what was given.
Mr. Veronneau high-lights romance and acceptance in an otherwise awkward situation for a woman who is afraid of being judged on her appearance once she reveals herself completely. I like the line “that bit of unbeauty” since women are always taught a certain standard and the writer here in this piece makes plain that he enjoyed her whether she had something considered “unbeauty” or not. A lovely poem.
My grandmother reaches
into the space
above her, grabbing
for the unknown, the imaginary.
What are you trying for
and it’s unclear
whether she hears me at all.
The days of her memory
grow short, and she is constantly reaching.
One day, she looks over
when I ask her again,
and she replies
opening the door
to break out of this.
A poignant poem about memory and I am guessing dementia, which I take very personally having worked with many who have been diagnosed with dementia and alzheimer’s. I love that she is always reaching for an escape, that the grandmother seems to know enough that something is wrong and she must find the way out. I love that she answers the writer in this poem that she “opening the door/to break out of this” without explaining what “this” is. Without explanation, the author and the readers can understand what she means and that she is trying to escape. It is a very moving poem to me.
There are plenty more dog-eared pages I could share but I will leave you to discover the rest for yourself. This collection of poems costs $5.00 from Alternationg Current’s Propaganda Press:
Poets are able to set their own royalties and get paid for their words so please support the small press and the poets published by Alternating Current, you won’t be disappointed by the poets you find there:
Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…