Uncorrected Proof

Bob Garner

Local poet Bob Garner’s latest chapbook, Uncorrected Proof (available at Lyon Books), is further proof of his undeniable talents as a writer. Garner plays with words and ideas even more than usual in his latest offering, sounding at times—refreshingly—like he’s been steeping himself of late in the late-night reading of Lewis Carroll and James Joyce. In “shaver me cinders,” he writes: “temper the rolls of the catalog kings/ in the red pomeranian sky./ shaver me cinders/ i’m back from the mandalay coast./ the coffin commander/ has diddled his dregs./ shaver me cinders—/ sigh high.” And in “the whedger”: “then I shall swig the tightening glot,/ with educated ira/ my backside manside downside/ to the hearse,/ and in the polynesian trough/ ingest the briney wine/ o son, warm sod and dilly glut,/ mud lonely/ in the mould.” Quintessential, razor-sharp-worded Garner appears in “on being told not to use the words ‘love’ or ‘beautiful’” when he writes the lines: “when you leaned across/ the dim lit table/ with your face scrunched up/ like a shrinking apple/ and locked my eyes/ with blue apache tears.” It’s a reader’s pleasure from “poltroon” to “another romantic opportunity blown to hell.”