Wednesday, December 21, 2011


A review of " doing cartwheels on doomsday afternoon"
John Yamrus.
Epic Rites Press.
117 pages of poetry.

No caps necessary to dress up the day in this title for a reality refresher in lean black and white observations, devoid of fluff and puffery. John Yamrus “doing cartwheels on doomsday afternoon” serves clean offerings of dis-intellectualized drills through strata of acquired wisdom; these are restful renderings in a society grown fat with metaphor. The thin ecology of language distributes sustainable ideas in clear glimpses through open doors.

The book cover as plain as the man within, the text format unadorned on smooth paper to leave space for reflexion; it represents subtle proportions in each accurate character. Titles lead and read straight into text, into flawless context, waiting for voice, silent or aloud, by daylight or by night light..only names are capitalized and ego is shaven to unassuming status by avoiding the almighty 'I' presented as simple i, author, observer of self and other.

The short verse format leaves much white on which to play the sharp poetic vignettes of everyday tedium. Endurance, perhaps the consistence of truth is coupled with a steady dose of humility, and yes, a dash of fun--
"they're winning, you know,
taking potshots at intellectual poetry...
The long poem "she's ashamed" brings words to their knees and poets to their feet...

This book -- has a firm sense of place, it seeps through like rain in sand, sweet rain, acid rain or occasional sewage of crude conditions. Sounds drip and scatter, no song or dance, only footsteps of men about their days. In a bar room John Yamrus describes musical taste with acute humor. In a bedroom he needs few words to convey the moment.

This book -- holds a fine sense of folks, It is defined by the lack of vulgarity in its descriptive language of ordinary beings living; dogs and wives, men and writing, poets and publishing. A smile sneaks in the eye of the reader as John easily deflates miracles in a demystified history of common people. No heroic survival, only the smack of revelation in the usual relations with the drinking, loving or hateful family of man.

This book -- hugs you, bear hugs in bars, dog hugs in easy embraces you in flat assimilable clichés of bare honesty; no tricks, no secrets, no sugar added. Doomsday is every day and it happens as you read -- happens as you sorely realize that you live -- no apology necessary, this book loves you, drops all pretense for you. Short enough, compact on shelf, it sits next to abandoned Eric Fromm or yet unread Neruda--- But this one, you pull out for a sober look at life on the ground once in awhile: That is sturdy, scarce poetry!..

John Yamrus holds a solid grip onto reality poetry; he has been widely published in notable venues and translated in several languages, has written 17 books of poetry and two novels as well.

information available through Epic Rites Press, Alberta Canada.
or Small Press Distribution. Berkeley California

nadine sellers; reading others.