Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Bulk of the Mailable Universe by Jules Gibbs

The Bulk of the Mailable Universe by Jules Gibbs is published by Dancing Girl Press and contains poems that are layered in meaning. I would recommend reading this through at least twice as you will pick up on more layers the second time around. Jules Gibbs currently lives in Syracuse, New York, and enjoys teaching poetry to adults and children. The title of the collection is what caught my eye as I absolutely love snail mail (not the bills kind, the letters-from-friends-and-family kind) and was delightfully satiated to read the contents. The poems greet you with words you do not see or hear every day yet are familiar such as “concordant, tycoon, slake.” These are words that make me want to reach out and touch them, experience them more in every day life. Then as you read there are layers that peel away as you understand them more with each reading. Below are a few I am happy to share with you:


Deep in the jejunum, factory
of post-vertebral reasoning,
a concordant tome
produces a quasar, a nolo
prow for the cocky free speech
of her conceptual A posse.

The historic nonstandard
of her one congratulatory chromosome
says: You’re blocked; he’s Virgo
as any jellyfish, recherch√©, hopes you’re free.

Volcano at fifteen, she’s a woman
by reprisal, catalyst
doing battle, unashamed
as an evening gazette corrigendum.

It’s like the last rational brain cell
Whispering to a girl gone wild: Tussle,
you got some time—your future depends on it.

As many other girls have discovered
the hard way,
there’s nothing worse than creating
an expectation — then failing to deliver.

This poem makes me think of teenage girls coming into their own. The “congratulatory chromosome” that makes them female instead of male, “Volcano at fifteen” that describes their energy and feelings as they learn how to present themselves and strive to become what they hope to become. The ending stanza is a perfect way to encapsulate the experience of a girl trying to find herself: trying to become a particular someone or something and then being unable to fulfill it in other people’s eyes and/or their own. It’s an excellent poem that uses layers and imagery rather than direct language. Beautiful.

Ones and Ohs

Our system is supported by Mom
and another girl photo coming
soon. You need the most recent version of Flash
to get Catwoman, Gwen, D.C. comics—
everything comes with a rating: hottest
hotties stuffing age between biography—
Natalia, Jessica, Pamela, Beyonce’—
even Sharon Stone was saved
by post-sitcom success.

A girl named Ellora was born
on the 22nd of June in a hospital
just outside Paris. Already
she cries in four languages,
ones and ohs while a storm
marvels the beach in L.A.,
covers the sand that beat
Britney’s jailbait in the face,
Broadcast to the world. And still
she out-charts Christina.

I interpret this poem to mean that all women can become a star thanks to the internet, thanks to the ones and ohs of computers that can place in our faces the stars of every-day life on television, music, and now our own lives. While we may recognize the names in the first stanza there is background provided for Ellora: a baby girl born to parents who apparently speak four languages between them if you see the reference about crying in four languages. The first lines in the first stanza I interpret to mean that the Mom will be posting photos of her new daughter soon and post them on the internet just as so many starlets are found, whether they deserve the fame or not, on-line. In an era like ours, everyone’s pictures and daily lives are broadcast to the world, it’s a poem that high-lights the closing gap between everyday people, celebrities, and pop-culture.

If you enjoyed this short sample of poems as much as I enjoyed its entire collection you may purchase a copy of The Bulk of the Mailable Universe by Jules Gibbs at Dancing Girl Press for $7.00 using the link below:


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound

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