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Minion Of Evil

Minion of Evil - Shannon   Ryan Reading good poetry leaves me feeling at a complete loss to review it. Any descriptions I might cobble together seem so lame compared to the poetic mojo. It leaps! I want to say. As if that’s the best that can be said on the subject, and I guess it is, coming from me.

I appreciate many kinds of poetry, but the standard always comes back to Robert Bly’s notions about the leaping sort. It’s the word play of image and sound and sense and sensation, the outcome being an enchantment of intuited associations, perhaps but not necessarily involving reason. I may not get a leaping poem in any literal sense, but that's OK; literal or not, the point is always figurative.

As mentioned in my first review of Worra’s work (On The Other Side of the Eye), I consider him a leaping poet, to which I’ll now add that he's fucking brilliant. For example, the premise and concept of Barrow. Each grouping of poems (they are like stanzas of the book) falls under a definition of the word barrow, which I had no idea was so interesting. A barrow is: a large mound of earth or stones placed over a burial site; a wheelbarrow; a pig castrated before it reaches sexual maturity; a count of forty threads in the warp or chain of woolen cloth; an old lunar crater located near the northern limb of the moon, between the Goldschmidt crater to the northwest and the irregular Meton crater formation.

The word is rife with potential metaphors and mixed messages. Worra is perceptive and informed enough to make much of the possibilities, and his language is as plain or provocative or puzzling as need be to make inspired leaps among them. As noted in the introduction: “In these pages words have many meanings, many readings. You’ll walk away with something just from a surface reading, but there’s always something that lingers and rewards you when you look deeper, under the skin, into the dark.”

Tie: A Knot’s Perspective

To tie is to connect
To live as more than mere falling leaf
Broke from branch to earth and mold.

If I talk of one thing, I am not.
I bend to tangle and hold.
Pull or cut, I release.

Who are we but the wrapping around choices,
Thoughts and dreams, the occasional virus,
Some dust and fluid, a speck of desire and spirit?

Rig our bonds like sailors or cowboys,
Scouts or tailors, lash selves to cultures,
Masts of meaning, one of many cosmic misty toys
Discovering Velcro.