no matter how hard manmade
claims Earth domain, tree still grows
higher with far greater ease
THE KVLT SCHOLAR’S HANTEI: I am in truth not wild about the turn towards the end of "Passing A Truck Full of Chickens" where the poet seeks identification with the chicken that seems to him/her bravest and best or something, but the grim realities faced by the other chickens is so well drawn here that as a piece I would not dare fault it. "How to Be Alone" is agreeable to the extent to which it makes a fine point about dogs (they are, or can be, good) but there is a grandiosity to "Who make bearable all that you must bear" that I find off-putting. Also I will note here that How to Be Alone is the title of the first collection of essays by Jonathan Franzen, and I read it in one sitting riding the train from Halifax to Montreal I don't know fourteen of fifteen years ago and when I say one sitting I really mean one sitting in that I didn't even get up to use the train bathroom; it was at times a very good collection of essays I think but I have never read any of his fiction. I do enjoy when he says oblivious things and then people who mind those things are like HABLOOBLOOFLOO for a day or two on twitter.
WINNER: "Passing A Truck Full of Chicks at Night on Highway Eighty"
THE KVLT SCHOLAR’S HANTEI: I worry that "Here" is just pretty little horseshit, maybe? Is that just unkind to think? "There's Always One on the Driveway, Featherless," on the other hand, is not anywhere near as poesyesque as I am generally after in poesy but one cannot, in my view, encounter this poem and deny that the touch that has been touched upon it is the touch of the real. I am thinking about how it is hard to know how to handle dead bird situations when there are small kids around, and I am thinking particularly of one time there were two dead robins on the neighbour's front yard and at that point I didn't even really know these neighbours that well, certainly not to the extent where I would wander around their yard unasked, but I hated the idea that their little girl would come out and see two dead robins so I shoveled them up and into the compost bin, an inglorious end for a fine creature but who among us. Or maybe she was at the exact right age to see about dead robins and I fucked the whole thing up.
WINNER: "There's Always One on the Driveway, Featherless"
Some have been drinking and intimate with strangers. Others are escapees from the night shift, sip lukewarm coffee, shift gears to the other side of darkness.
THE KVLT SCHOLAR’S HANTEI: This is tough sledding man I don't know, neither of these speaks to me in the least. In all instances of ties due to either shared excellence or shared not-for-me-ness or shared mediocrity or whatever the win shall always go to the poem with the best individual line (what else is the unit of composition, truly) and here that is clearly "She is a prophet disguised as a young mother who is looking for a job," a line that is so good it deserves a way better poem wrapped around it, and by way better obviously I mean one that is way better to me and my particular idiot tastes which is what I demand all art conform to our else what is the point of anything up to and including it all.
WINNER: "Insomnia and the Seven Steps to Grace"