Arguments for Lawn Chairs by Aaron Kreuter

 Arguments for Lawn Chairs by Aaron Kreuter
Published by Guernica Editions Inc. September 1, 2016 e format

  I received this from Guernica and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are fully my own. I am not being compensated for this review in any way other than receipt of the text.

Looking at the title, I knew this was going to be an experience in modern poetry that I may not enjoy. I read the whole book through. Some of it was not terribly pleasant in its graphic mental visions or smells. Some of it was terribly sad. Other parts of it were just beyond me, I must admit. So, I read the whole book through again. This was when parts of it started to reach out and grab me. It began with the first piece in the book. It is called Plastic. I think I have read and reread this poem more than any other in the book. Can I call it a poem? This is not what I learned poetry is. But this is a book of poetry, so this must be a poem. Okay. I read and reread this poem. And I keep reading this poem simply because it keeps catching a corner of my mind. My mind keeps trying to make sense of it, I think. I just don't think I would want to brush my teeth with hardened dog eyelashes, thank you. And that's only one of the strange things this poem offers up in its thirteen lines.

Then, I got to An Optomist Thinks About Plastic Water Bottles. No, it's not all about plastic, really. Far from it, but these two really struck me! "midway through her talk she pauses, takes three big swigs, wipes her mouth with her hand, and, on some unconscious level, it begins:" This cliffhanger sets the stage for world change! Really. These 23 words set the reader up for what becomes a total about face in the habits of the civilized world in regards to how we use resources and care for the earth. "and this is how it will spread, seminars, conferences, political rallies, how-tos, concerts, athletic meets, spilling out into the populace, caught on some primordial hook of the mind:" Just your everyday word of mouth.

The piece, Letter to Irena Sendlerowa, was so sad, so touching. It made me want to do something in the way of sacrifice the way the author had. As he said "I had to do something. I had to lose something." Mr. Kreuter definitely has a way with words and phrases. He creates an image or a mood so well with words. Much the way a painter does with paint. Now, tell me, does this sound like love to you? "perhaps one day we'll sit together as our livers fail, our muscles slide, our brains misfire, our openings crust and ooze, our furious hearts slow, but for now, I want nothing more than to plug into your complex nervous system and never stop tingling." This is the end of Love Poem My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun. The rest of the poem is really anatomically graphic, and it doesn't read like a love scene. But it is a love poem.

Yes, these are poems. This is a book of poetry and I will be reading it over and over, I think. Mr. Keuter has a magical way with words. A wonderful way of crafting a phrase and making it into something you can see and feel or even smell. Maybe it's not his fault that some of his verse (?) is beyond me, but it did cost him a star. I am holding this review until closer to the publishing date. Once the book is available, pick up a copy and lose yourself in the author's words. See what images and moods he creates for you.

Judi E. Easley
Blue Cat Review

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