Province of Numb Errs by Jared Schickling
|Province of Numb Errs||Jared Schickling||BlazeVOX [books]|
Poetry is not another way of telling you what to think. Sure, be a poet, and humble(d). Jared Schickling’s Province of Numb Errs is a relief: out of monotime (“This time has no here its All here u / go”); avoiding collisions with prevalent discourse. If you’re interested in the writing human, be interested in this.
Camel, ass, lion, pig, donkey, horse, ox, fawn, duckling, osprey, sea snail, snake; infirmary, school, factory farm; bar, travel, underwear, childbirth, solar observatory, sex acts, and “the morning corpse of water”: maybe you can tell from this list of images in this book what Jared Shickling’s concerns are. “Natures impatience / homage de / con struck / shun / remains” enacts the breakdown of a world that we are destroying, so at times her syntax and spelling are altered, even to the point of using single letters. “Until I touch you and am unclean myself’’ suggests the ways we separate ourselves, male from female, human animal from other animals. “He has a blemish // he will profane not my sanctuaries.” Religion and archaisms continue to influence us in unpardonable ways. Critiques of factory farms run through the book, the most upsetting of which is a poem in which a worker confesses the horrors of tortures inflicted upon pigs. This is poetry infused with morality; its structure and its subjects are inseparable, because Shickling clearly feels the waste and misuse of the world so deeply. “Emotions mixed like primary colors.” We need such books.
Jared Schickling’s Province of Numb Errs is a quirky, sincere and often funny homage to the long arms of his Catholic upbringing. Less dour than Stephen Daedalus and the other cohorts of Joyce’s imagination, the narrators in these poems gleefully yoke together Biblical clichés and homespun homilies, xenophobic injunctions and commonsense imperatives, and, per rhetoric, the highfalutin’ and colloquial. The overall effect: wild swings between apocalyptic musings and unleashed hilarity. Unpacking the pejorative “provincial” lurking behind the more neutral “province,” Schickling delineates the family ties between prejudice and place. Moreover, his forays into flora and fauna husbandry in the second half of the book leave us with this unsettling realization: we were always estranged from any, from every, place.
Jared Schickling is the author of the BlazeVOX trilogy Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing (2014) + ATBOALGFPOPASASBIFL (2013) + The Pink (2012), as well as The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014). He edits Delete Press and lives in Western New York.
· Paperback: 78 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781609642457