2011 Book 4: The Chainsaw Bears

Do chapbooks count for this book count I have going? I don’t know. But it’s my blog (look at that—ownership!) and I think this one deserves its own post.

I stumbled into The Chainsaw Bears after Erin Elizabeth Smith accepted one of my poems for Stirring over the summer. That’s right, sometimes I stalk editors. Which worked out well, because The Chainsaw Bears…well, it’s called The Chainsaw Bears. That’s enough to buy it, no?

It’s a series of sixteen poems, each titled “The Chainsaw Bears.” Each delves into a different aspect of the bears’ lives, be it waiting to be bought buy a tourist, realizing they can’t love because they’re made from trees, or contemplating the termites who use them as hotels. And though the bears’ lives are pretty depressing, the poems are tinged with hope—despite the odds, these bears trudge on, day after day, waiting for their futures to start.

Also, the language and the line breaks are beautiful.

I googled for an interview with Smith about the chapbook, but couldn’t find any. Am I looking in the wrong places? Or does this mean I should ask to conduct one?


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