Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: Best New Poets Under Three

A Review

Peter Patenaud, who at one,
has produced two volumes that hearken
to a shadow life before his soul,
dipped in Lethe, came clean into this world
as the son of two dentists,
gives us sixty preverbal emanations
of burble flarf so wild and fluid
you’d think you were just bathed free
of vernix yourself, and Lela Haines,
who at two is writing at the top of her form,
winning in just the last year:
the Golden Placenta and First Poddy Poop
gives us NO, a fierce and wounded howl
against boundaries guaranteed to raise
the nape hair of any would-be parents.
Her poem “Nor That” opens the collection
with the line, “And you can’t make me/
cause I pick up this and throw it down/
pick up this and throw it down/
and in the closet pee in your shoes…”
My personal favorite being, “Electric”
wherein she stuffs all the power outlets
in the house with pasta. These young poets,
twelve in all, bring fresh life to a genre
that has been condemned to salons
and writers conferences. In the words of
Billy Sales, age two and a half,
“I am a bad boy/I draw dirty pictures
in the pages of Curious George/
I sabotage the car seat safety belt/
I want to fly, fly through the windshield
into the thick of it/show you how to live.”

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Doug Anderson

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2014 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , .

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