COLLECTIONS-14 is an exciting Art Nouveau experiment in the New Age Renaissance
Republic of Poetry, pushing the bounds of the expected to present an original poetic lament by
Kyle Kinaschuk and above/ground press. The Poet is a PhD student studying English Literature at the University
of Toronto. He is working on a thesis of the poetics and politics of lament in Canada. He has been widely published
Pressing the bounds of broken English, perhaps influenced by the Beat Poetry tradition and the post-modernist edict, this Chapbook has the theme of the death of a father, a series of 14 poems that include rewritten lines from books, sections of lost objects from the Classified sections of newspapers, a letter from the Canadian government demanding unpaid income tax sent to the deceased father's wife, one or two descriptive poems and some poems from the deceased. Most of the poetry is very broken, as if in disembodied grief and/or anger. The notes at the back of the Chapbook say that the poetry for 4 of the poems were gleaned from "the 14th line from the 14th page of every 14th text in my book collection" and once exhausted from the street and the university. So part of this series of poems is seemingly a cento, which is traditionally a form of protest and embellishes the theme of lament.
Juxtaposed with the first letters of disembodied and truncated thoughts is lists of lost objects from the Classified sections of newspapers. These aren't just any lost objects they are special requiring a tithe to publish publicly; beloved pets, a satchel of important papers the loss of which could jeopordize the owner's job, a child's favourite stuffed animal; some are essential like lost glasses, a dental bridge, a lost child's bicycle. As if equating the loss of a father with the loss of essential and special objects, so that even the disaffected half of the population that lives alone in parts of major cities can understand. An overconstructed society of people with multiple lovers so broken that objects replace people, "at least my things don't argue with me." Perhaps a call to less constructed personal lives and better mentoring and discernment in love.
About midway in the Chapbook is a letter from the Canadian government demanding a debt of $45,496.23 in income tax be paid, that is sent to his wife. The wife, probably distraught at the death of her husband is reading "This is a legal warning under the law to collect the loss you owe" repeated 12 times, as if in cinematic compounded grief (perhaps raising the question if income tax debt should be forgiven upon death). There is a descriptive poem about cremation and thoughts on scattering ashes. The last poems are from the father in the first person, very disembodied thoughts about his developing cancer, using a walker, his state of debt. The ending is a bit bizarre, the entire write is very alienated, yet very compelling, addressing the issues surrounding the loss of a loved one in the Canadian landscape.
Haunted, not to be read in the dark of the night. A brilliant write. COLLECTIONS-14 by Kyle Kinaschuk.