Michele McDannold was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for about five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for...read more Decent Literature Press. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. She lives in a place called the Jhole and does various odd jobs like keeping the lights on at The Literary Underground and spreading the good word at Ppigpenn. Michele's first full-length collection of poetry, 'Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days,' is due out from Punk Hostage Press in August 2014. I wonder how long I can just ramble on here before a buzzer sounds. This Red Fez site is pretty cool and probably does do that. viva la Fez!
AFTER EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and protruding tests (yes, protruding not intruding), it has been determined that author JD Nelson is indeed a male alien. In the year of our ghorde 1970ish, he was sent from planet Glexnar of the 9th quadrant of Galaxy Zemfil with the explicit mission of spreading kindness, confusion and corn meal if you wanna believe it in the land of Colorado, United States. Exhibit A:
Like the Bastard Wind on Planet NowhereCommand line one:
a beginning unlike any other --
my name is Monster, all over again. We have this space thing tonight,
so you'll have to excuse me for a minute
while I spread the butter with this sword.
(Wire Sandwich, Issue 4) Now that the official business is out of the way let's talk about the words, the work, the waltz of letters to invincible sound. I don't know exactly why talking about JD Nelson and his poetry makes me want to alliterate but that's how it goes. Perhaps something to do with the musicality of his verse. Where occasionally there is a matter of white noise, I mostly get rhythm. Take for instance...
who sent you, anyway?follow me
this knot is
don't try to change us,
our britches thicker than
(Red Fez Publications, Issue 11) maybe there's less stories in these poems (debatable), less knowing exactly what the author is talking about/meant (is that a bad thing?) but I find when reading Mr Nelson's work I often get more of that sensation of feelings I can't quite describe but are as familiar and valid as any. It doesn't fall flat in my chest, more like butterflies. And while you can achieve this with poems written in a narrative style- I don't find that to be the case as often. (send your hate mail to Tim Murray, thank you) Personally, narrative poetry is my meat and potatoes. I love them. I write them. I read and enjoy them often. But if my diet consists of only meat and potatoes, I'm going to weigh a thousand pounds and have a stroke by the time I'm 40. don't get me wrong-- I still can't bring myself to eat weird food that looks like squid and tastes like ass but peas and carrots aren't so bad, yo. IMHO, the best poetry is that fine line between concrete and abstract. Sometimes I see connections between things that don't make sense to others- I set to explaining it and often the straight line doesn't shake out as well as the round-about. JD is a master at this ...
blind from bleachroadrunner this morning, the white sun doubts you,
but I don't. no reasons at the lake today.
no stones in the sky.
peopled machines blink
in the tragic green of dawn.
(Citizens for Decent Literature Print, Issue One) that's the stuff right there. I've been following JD's work nearly as long as I've been on the internet. It doesn't all work for me. I'm reading along and thinking JD, what the hell are you talking/writing about? But, he's not-- he's probably yeeling or zawwing or something. Sorry, but I gotta respect that. I see someone who is not only prolific and defining his style but committed to the process. He's not a lazy poet. Don't be a lazy reader.
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