Today's chapbook of poetry: Steve Kulash & other autopsies. Catherine Owen. AngelHousePress. Ottawa. 2012 (Edition of 50)
The poems in this volume come from two Owen manuscripts, Madame Twisto's Beautiful Limbs and Cineris.
"Nostalgia is unethical" says Catherine Owen with her opening salvo in the poem Steve Kulash & other autopsies. This is Owen's tenth publication and her experience shows. These are fully formed poems of experience.
"And so they came a-courting in the Greyhound depot,
those torn bits of boys." -from Decoupage
Owen's poems are peopled by geeks and freaks and whack-a-mole beating children in Vegas. Barbie and Ken play cannibal games and John Berryman dirges himself past the death of Dylan Thomas. There is an awful lot happening in these all too brief twenty pages.
"the shushing of the saltless ocean beyond
the ghost of Madame Twisto--
her beautiful, convoluting limbs"
Owen really does have a lock on the crisp turn of phrase that catches in your mind's eye. Almost all of these poems contain moments within them that are bigger, bolder and braver than your run of the mill poet. Ottawa poet and publisher Amanda Earl has created AngelHousePress to promote voices like Catherine Owen's and that is a good thing.
Earl's AngelHousePress are producing attractive chapbooks, Catherine Owen is producing attractive poetry. This tasty book is just that, a taste of Catherine Owen. An appetizer.