Monthly Archives: August 2013

Tollbooth is coming!

20130807-222513.jpg September 7th at Revolutionary Lounge in Toms River
7:00 PHP releases its first novel by Bud Smith…

Jimmy Saare collects tolls on the highway, but
he’s had a mental snap and is becoming uncontrollably fixated with
the 19 year old Gena who leans seductively on the copy machine at
Officetown. Despite his wife Sarah’s impending pregnancy, Jimmy
pursues his desire for Gena, unexpectedly becoming more entangled
with the strange manipulations of an anarchistic teenager, Kid with
Clownhead, who wants to start his own destructive cult when he
grows up. Tollbooth is a dark literary adventure chronicling one
man’s escape from drudgery into the wilds beyond the New Jersey
Parkway where beauty and horror blur.

Voice and Imagery

Matthew J. Hall’s poems in the current issue are an example of
what we here at the Idiom appreciate and enjoy in a writer’s voice and the described images in a poem.

I think what makes me
like the voice in his first poem, even my
daydreams are damned
comes in the first introductory
line. The whole poem is about a couples downfall on a night
out and eventually in the poem we see the pronouns “we” “you” and
“I” but he holds up on bringing the people into the piece and goes
right into the action.

“took a piece of pink chalk
and sketched us on a paving slab”

It throws the
reader right into the scene and kinda distances us from either of
the people in the relationship and when the breakup comes its
impossible to really pick any side.

His next poem in the issue,
commuting through the town, the city, the village
becomes a list poem but what makes a good list poem
is by presenting it in a way without the reader knowing its a list. Hall goes from chocolate to crack heads to nuns and suicides on
train lines that the poem becomes a story about this place and
everything in it….

A jersey reading series and a sonnet

Hank Kalet is a prominent participant in the local Jersey
poetry scene…he hosts a reading series in the South Brunswick
Library with a beautiful window paned sunroom as the readers
backdrop….here’s details and the 2013-14 line-up

The South Brunswick Arts Commission, in
partnership with the South Brunswick Public Library, will offer
Poetry Readings one Sunday afternoon each month in Program Room 2
(Octagon) at 2:00 p.m. The readings are given by some of New
Jersey’s best known poets and there is an open reading by audience
members following the scheduled poets. The program is offered for
free, but a donation of canned goods for the local food pantry is
encouraged. The schedule for 2013-2014 is as follows: 9/15: Evie
Shockley and Cathy Park Hong 10/20: David Messineo and Davidson
Garrett 11/17: Vasiliki Katsarou and Lynn Levin 12/15: Charles
Johnson and Laine Sutton 1/19: Wendy Rosenberg and Charles Bonhus
2/16: R.G. Evans and Kevin Carey 3/16: Sharon Olson and Martha
Silano 4/13: Therese Halschild and Barbara Daniels 5/4: Lisa Russ
Spaar and Cate Marvin

Hank is also a great poet
and had some pieces in the current
In his Sonnet of the Everyday
Hank presents some kind of love. The “he” the narrator addresses is
hardly identified but his lifestyle is somewhat admired. I love the
ambiguity I find in the last statement and much like a sonnet kind
of sums up the whole as either the narrators or the mans luck is to
good to keep within… SONNET OF THE EVERYDAY
He navigates the ’78 Caddy he bought with the money he won on a
good trip to Monmouth Park turns left onto the highway as his
passenger sips from a cardboard coffee cup – He nailed the trifecta
then a longshot in the last race walked out with two grand in his
pocket had a steak dinner and bought the car You should come to the
track with me he says, unlit cigarette dangling my luck’s been too
damn good to keep to myself

Our father’s stories

For our final weekend of the last issue of the Idiom we’ll be showing off three more poets from the issue.

Kevin Ridgeway came to us from Bud Smith, a poet and prose writer whose novel Tollbooth we will be releasing at the end of the month.

Kevin’s poem Poem for my Dad encompasses everything we like in a piece: getting high, social debauchery, and a Raymond Carver type ending that leaves the reader wondering what happens and a focus on the buildup of the situation.

I like how we are always distracted from the most prominent scene that this father has stolen a Cadillac first by making it a story as told through the sons or narrators eyes and then the fathers own story of seeing a naked man on a pole…the outer story and the inner story surround that center story and make the third forth and fifth readings shine and is probably characteristic of how the father actually tells this story told many times over beers in a bar to strangers, old friends, and everyone else looking to listen…

Poem for my Dad

do you remember that time you told me you were high and pulling out of your partner’s garage
in your stolen Cadillac
and you saw that naked man climbing the utility pole, high on angel dust screaming
gibberish to god
as you blasted
Harold Melvin
and the Blue Notes
and parted your perm
with your comb
and shook your head, heading off into
the dawn sunlight?

Ryan Swofford’s poem in the current issue

Although we began handing out the nextissue of The Idiom at the New York Poetry Festival, I’m gonna finish up this week on the blog with some poems from the last issue…
I relate to Ryan’s poem, <em>Expectations</em> in <a href=””>the current issue</a> because I myself am a student…and sometimes as a student I felt like I was faking it or playing the role and “had to/ get one B/ I had to because I didn’t want to/ seem like I was trying to hard”
His first stanza really sets the scene with great line breaks for the narrator and all too…
“An honor student
would never get so much shit
as me, so long as he
kept his grades up
combed his hair
tucked in his shirt, and firmly!
shook hands with his boss
or his teacher, handing him
an award
(oh, would you look at that?
four-point-oh, what a beauty!)”