but, yet, I see cracks of azure dome
through the canopy gaps,
and when it undulates
competing species wave together —
tousled by the same hand
so, even though each sways at its own rate,
it looks like one gasping organism
This collection of [mostly] free verse and prose poems touches on nature, sexuality, and the loss of a mother. The poems are evocative and sometimes haunting, and they offer insight into experiences as specific as the author’s life as a gay man in Houston’s bayous and as universal as the loss of a loved one.
The collection is arranged into five parts. Each part continues the eponymous poem, “Deciduous Qween,” such that that poem acts as a connective tissue for the collection. The various parts each have their own unique feel.
As mentioned, sexuality is a major feature of this collection, and so readers sensitive to the subject should be forewarned. The fourth part is where the poems become explicit. In terms of graphicness, I’d put them in line with the more risqué works of Allen Ginsberg.
I found these poems to be poignant, heartfelt, and readable. I’d recommend the collection for poetry readers, particularly those who aren’t sensitive to matters of sex and sexuality.
flaming in red and yellow
headless bird stack
dimple sands with a thud
tin roof heart attack
from the humidity,
crawling under the door
take bug duty!
i recall short days
just as i recall cold days
nostalgia trumps truth
This collection of short form poems touch on themes of nature, Americana, and the Native American experience, but it covers a lot of ground and is, ultimately, a reflection of Bond’s experience and philosophy in poetic form. Among the 80+ poems, there are some as short and sparse as haiku, but most run between a page or two.
In the prologue, Bond takes up the eternal argument of whether free verse is poetry, and the antithesis of whether rhymed and metered poetry is “serious poetry.” His view, not dissimilar to my own, is that there is room for the coexistence of these two poetic forms. That said, he overwhelmingly favors free verse in practice – as do most poets in the modern era – though not exclusively so.
I enjoyed this collection. It offers food-for-thought, beautiful language, and doesn’t wallow in a view of the world (or the poet’s life) as a fetid morass (as is a common theme in poetry collections these days.) It’s worth reading as an exemplar of a personal poetic statement. The collection offers examples of verse that is evocative without sopping with sentimentality. In the prologue, Bond urges expression through the poetic form, and this is him putting his money where his mouth is.
They say a Vampire can’t enter your house unless you invite them inside.
I don’t know whether it’s true, on account of I don’t know if Vampires are a thing.
But I recognize a rule that is good and true when I hear one.
I always hear this or that person complaining about how such-and-such is,
“…living in my head, rent free.”
Well, who invited them?