Review: Austerity Pleasures by James Payne


If we focus on the everyday, the commonplace, the boring, long enough will it become something more? Perhaps, but with the poetry of James Payne it is more the way he preceives his life than the actual content of it. The second poem in his new collection Austerity Pleasures, "Poem for Sitting in Panera" is a perfect example of this. It opens with "I feel odd about my life". It is this sense unrest, uncertanity, uneasiness that fills Payne's thoughts and lines.

One of my favorite pieces is "Andy Gardner's Milk", and in it you get a sense of the pattern that Payne feels caught in. It is a cycle of wake, do nothing, sleep, wake. There is underlying ambition that flickers and fades. Through out the collection there is this feeling of wanting more but wanting nothing at all. I feel it might be clearest in "Occupy Everything", "OCCUPY EVERYTHING But I don't even feel like being in my own body".

Austerity Pleasures
was released back in March by Monster House.

Filed under: between covers

Tags: James Payne

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