I had the possibility and the pleasure to read “Jagermeister Walking”, written by Donald Armfield, and I found it very different from his other books. He generally writes about weird stories or bizzarro one, but this time – maybe it’s the power of poetry – I found more depth in his writings and his view of the world.
All the little collection is surrounded by a sort of magical mist coming from an ancient paganity. You can find this mood starting from the cover, with a beautiful deer-man similar to the god Cerunnus, and proceding with the first poem where a powerful minotaur appeared to the reader.
There’s clouds above
I can see-through holes.
This are the first verses of “Openings” – an Overtoure of a little Opera – and I like that the poet recognizes himself as a voyeur of the world. This is what artists do when they create, they watch the world and try to give another meaning to everyday actions. Only watching through the keylock we will be able to find the other part of things.
But there is an element that I liked more than others. His view of the fairy tale and its comparison to the reality. You can understand better what I’m talking about reading his poem “Geppettoism”. It’s like an artistic or philosophical movement: to think and act like Geppetto, Pinocchio’s “father”. It’s an interesting way to represent in the contemporaneity the myth of Pygmalion mixed with the Demiurge one.
With body modifications such as;
a strip of flesh peeled back
from the forearms,
thigh to calf of the legs.
The jawbone disconnected,
almost feeling like
a sustained spasm,
limited mouth openings.
This means to be “Geppettoized”. Bodies modified with plastic surgery such as ethical one. Like a “Ghost in the Shell” we are living our lives always opened – as on a surgical table – to the view of other people. It’s the virtual life and the real one that are trying to link each other with wires and veins.
But you will find also wonderful drawings in this chapbook. They are made by Alison Denekamp, Stephan Imri-Knight and Sean Morse. They’ve been able to tell more about the feelings of the poems and the drawings fit perfectly with the whole collection.
The book is available at this link http://www.lulu.com/shop/donald-armfield/jagermeister-walking/paperback/product-22353513.html