Friday, 31 March 2017

Allen Tesch

Norman Rockwell, cookie cutter houses and luscious descriptions are exactly what you will find once you read the tremendous pieces written by Allen Tesch below. Allen has an organic gift to leave the writer wanting for more. I always love/hate it when writers leave us yearning for more descriptions sometimes it's good to include every single detail as to what happens to the characters in his poems and other times it's good to imagine what happened to the specific actors in one scene. Such a double edge sword in this case... well.. you will find out what I'm talking about when you read my whole review.

Sweatshirts and Yoga Pants

Sweatshirts and yoga pants.
Beautiful women who all somehow looks the same.
Marry beautiful men and have children who are beautiful
but still somehow look the same.
Sometimes they bring the wrong ones home and nobody
notices because they all have the same floor plan.
Someone wises up, though, when a kid notices she has
the wrong type of medicine.
They drive around for hours finding the right house
and there's panic inside as they see themselves pull up
-Honey, are we home? I thought we were home!
But it all sorts itself out over handshakes and smiles
until the one family family asks for theirs back
-Well you see
-Yes?
-We thought it was odd she didn't want to take her
medicine. But we finally forced her to. You know how
it is. She's upstairs in bed now, but doesn't appear
to be breathing.
The parents rush up the stairs. They know exactly
where her room is.
Tense until they hear laughter instead of anguish.
They come downstairs, holding each other chuckling
embarrassedly-Sorry about that. She-throws a
thumb-has a butterfly tattoo. That's not Penelope
at all!
Everyone laughs and shrugs. These things happen.
They sort themselves out.
They never found out who the dead girl was and they
put out fliers for Penelope for weeks. But the
attention her brother was getting at school was really
helping his confidence and social standing so really
it may have all been for the best.

Genuinely a myriad of images brought forth different themes into my head from this piece. First off, I loved the intro Allen wrote:

Beautiful women who all somehow looks the same.
Marry beautiful men and have children who are beautiful
but still somehow look the same.

It reminded me simultaneously of Stepford wives where everyone doesn't only look the same but act the same as well. Can you imagine how boring life would be if everyone wore the same clothes, spoke the same, lived in the same houses. There is also a strong elemental feel to CSI especially during the end of the piece – what haunted me the most was:

They never found out who the dead girl was and they
put out flyers for Penelope for weeks. But the
attention her brother was getting at school was really
helping his confidence and social standing so really
it may have all been for the best.

See, as I said in my intro it leaves the reader wanting for more. I want to know who it was, who killed the Penelope. Allen crafted a lovely mystery here for us to contemplate and wonder -- “did the brother really do it?” well that is what is crossing my mind anyways.

Sex Plum

Sex Plum shone
like a glossy page
Familiar oblivious
to the t-shirt and plaid
squires stopped
when she was at the fountain
Backed up
when she straightened a heel
15 minutes outside the restroom
nudging
and judging
and nervously contemplating
everything
but the impossible.

I have to admit the last few lines resonated with me...

nudging
and judging
and nervously contemplating
everything
but the impossible.

To think of everything but the impossible to me would be a bit boring... it is the impossible that I want to contemplate. I want to think of moments with limited possibilities and impossible outcomes, because those are the moments when extreme sweat and inspiration come forth for each other in the times of darkness. When you feel so hopeless that the slightest flicker of flint keeps you going to light a potential powerful fire.

Dancer

Sometimes when he's alone he likes to dance
a really stupid dance
that's never the same way twice
And sometimes he pretends to know people
and one of them opens the door exclaiming
-Hey asshole! (he pretends they know his name)
-What is it that you're doing?
Not stopping and a bit out of breath
he tells them
-I'm dancing!
so I don't kill myself tonight!
They laugh
because he makes them think
he's a wacky funny guy
And he laughs
because it's good to get off his chest
And he's never sure if it's that
or the dancing
But it's been working pretty good
so far.


Dancer totally reminds me of one of my favourite plays ever. The inner dialogue alone brought memories of Vladimir & Estragon from Waiting for Godot, save the exception that in Godot they did not really laugh – the discussion was mostly depressing if you ask me about erections and radishes. Except this is a one way dialogue one has imagined. There's an expressive depth that really showcases not only the subject of loneliness but also self worth of the character in Dances. He, I'm not going to call him he I'm going to give him a name Arthur is a poor lonely man trying to entertain himself who is just desperately trying to fit in even though he may feel he never will. It's an overwhelming emotion to feel or be the round hole with a square peg.