Microreview: On Neil De La Flor's and Maureen Seaton's "Sinead O' Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds"
Neil De La Flor's and Maureen Seaton's Sinead O' Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds is the kind of poetry book that most often never wins awards: it's too creative. Their collaborative effort does something most authors working together don't have the gumption to do: refuse to tidy up their poems in a way that everything becomes seamless and you're left saying to yourself, "This poem feels like it's written by one person. Everything is of a piece." What's the point of reading a collaboration if it doesn't feel messy, busting open with too much talent? Why believe less is more? Sometimes more is more. For good reason.
The rambling, blessedly moronic litanies are obviously perfect vehicles for collaboration. They makes lists and a lot of other things. You can imagine a pair of poets trying to outshine the other as yet another burst of creativity jettisons its way through the Internet. However they divvied up the work for their collaboration is ultimately irrelevant. What matters is the end results, and this book is so wonderful. Take a look at some of the zingers. Here's one from "Metempsychosis": "I believed ellipses were Lilliputian prints of panini recipes" Another from "Words of Mouth": "They say Beethoven's maid died of lead poisoning. If she ate paint, it would be a thread of gold through turquoise, swan's blood, a violin silence." Or the entirety of "The Archaeology of Christendom": "The sorest spot on my head is a temple./I have bra cups in multiple sizes."
These brilliant comics know every joke is ultimately a throwaway, every poem a vehicle for urgent nonsense.
Neil De La Flor's and Maureen Seaton's Sinead O' Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds is available through Firewheel Editions.
Steve Fellner's second book of poems The Weary World Rejoices was published last year. His first book of poems Blind Date with Cavafy won the Thom Gunn Gay Male Poetry Award.
His memoir, All Screwed Up, focuses on his relationship with his ex-trampoline champion mother.