After workshopping a bunch of English Comp student essays I found myself repeating that if there is a change in action they should start a new paragraph….the title of these two poems by Jennifer Lemming in the current issue remind me of those motions….
Waiting in Line, has a kind of sing songy rhyme scheme but I’m distracted by the slow build-up of slightly crude images…the first person narration starts by waiting in line ‘for a big banana’ which made me laugh and moved me to the snot in your voice and finally to the unnamed ‘you’ who was so ‘prickly’. . . these images are presented in quatrain stanzas and ultimately set the scene for the final biting couplet “Some day, you’ll be the one to pay / and have a nice day.” which turns this piece into a sonnet and the brief interaction turns into a love poem of a sort….
Driving with Sunflowers is a larger piece that shows off Jennifer’s ability to use free verse and move the reader through not only the poem but this trip to an art gallery with someone she makes clear is only a friend….I don’t know if this friend is trying to be more, but I cringed every time he tried to further explain the art on the walls. In fact he’s not even critiquing the art but more the artist’s lives which makes him more of a TMZ type critic who takes more of an interest in the life than the work….I can relate to some of her final thoughts of him as she decides where he stands in her life, “I watch his retreating figure, knowing long ago just how much energy / to put into this friendship and I now know to just let go.”