Beret, Me (A poetic anthology) by Juke James Esq.
This nice little publication arrived through the post recently, I’ve been too busy to relax and read anything other than exhibition announcements for quite a while but eventually found a few minutes to enjoy the slim volume.
There is a link between this and the exhibition at Gostins as part of the Independents Biennial. ‘Realms and Realities’ features paintings by John O’Neill who has produced the woodcut-style monochrome illustrations for this book. Also Juke gave a reading of his poems as an event to accompany the exhibition.
Sadly I missed the event but the exhibition is very good and O’Neill’s work there will be familiar to readers of Catalyst Media’s ‘Nerve’ magazine as he is their in-house illustrator.
But back to the poetry, Juke certainly has a way with words, a ‘joy of language and semantics’ there’s often a good sense of rhythm, I could imagine some being sung – or maybe rapped.
Ambient noise, voyeurism, and herbal tea
The Bold Street human laboratory
People playing chess, people playing games
People “fighting” war, people by other names
Flags and banners being waved
For football clubs, for lives to be saved;
The relative significance’s clash and converge
As rival factions mingle and merge
An intoxicated, rampant, bruising throng
A mixture of protest and Celtic football song;
The poems cover various themes and emotions, often the clue is in the title – ‘Addiction’, ‘Manic Depression’, ‘Desire’
‘2000 And ( ): A Waste Odyssey (Pt’s 1, 2 & 3) – revised version’ is a lengthy list of contemporary things – maybe wasteful, maybe just personal dislikes (blogs are mentioned so surely not!)
Retro and Nostalgia, ever forwards to the past
Cyrogenic freezing for those who want to last
Its a good read and as with most anthologies you can dip in as the mood takes you, with the added bonus of O’Neill’s illustrations.
Juke has been writing poetry for more than 20 years, during which time he’s had numerous poems published in a variety of British publications. In 2005 his debut anthology, ‘Spelt with a J, not a D’ was published (Seeker Publications) and proved to be an independent ‘sold out’ success.
All the poems featured were written 2004-08.
The anthology is on sale for £3.00 and available from all good bookshops, including ‘News from Nowhere‘, Bold St., ‘The Amorous Cat Bookshop’, Lark Lane, & Linghams Books (The Wirral).
Title: BERET, ME (A Poetic Anthology) by Juke James Esq.
Publisher: Other Publications
ISBN #: 978-0-946057-79-5