The Reverend Hellfire presents this review of fellow-poet,
Cathoel Jorss‘s latest Volume of Verse
for your enjoyment and consideration.
Comb the Sky With Satellites
It’s Still a Wilderness
Many years ago, Cathoel made a little statuette
I was fond of.
On a little bit of plank serving as a plinth was mounted
a toy-sized, model wagon,
the sort of thing kids used to pull along by a piece of rope.
Only in this case the rope was frayed and broken,
the draggled pieces lying next to the wagon,
and one of the wheels had come off too.
The title of this forlorn little masterpiece of whimsy,
was inscribed on a plaque attached to the plinth and read;
“If Poets Ruled the World”
Remembrance of that little statuette came to me the other day,
as I was perusing the latest volume of verse
from Australia’s larger than Life, unsung
High-Priestess of Poetry,
the fabulous Ms Jorss.
Whimsy is never far from the surface in Cathoel’s work,
a gentle bemusement at the-way-things-are,
but there is a harder edge to her recent work than
was apparent in her earlier work “Going for the Eggs”.
This is as it should be. The world has moved on since then,
much blood has flowed under the bridge since those more
innocent times and we are all, perhaps, a little harder edged
than we used to be, wiser than we want to be.
Funny to think of the late nineties as more innocent times,
but in a way it was true;
The Cold War was over, the Last Crusade against Islam hadn’t begun.
Perhaps the Next Century would be different from the Others,
we almost dared to hope, not some silly, hippie Age of Aquarius thing,
but some better paradigm arising from the lessons learnt
from the 20th Century’s madness.
It wasn’t to be,of course, and we have to deal
with that Reality every day.
One of the ways of dealing with that is Poetry.
You can see this in Cathoel’s work. Poetry is the tool with which
she both records the world, capturing evidence and clues
in her travels and the tool with which she seeks
to understand it.
Through the algorithm of Verse she analyses the data,
and like a shaman of the Word she then seeks to re-order
the unbalanced system confronting her.
Her poetry becomes a kind of healing magic,
the process of understanding,
is as important as the conclusion reached.
Through her poetry the poet becomes a still centre of calm
while the Universe whirls around her.
“inside a lit candle I am twelve
and everything is this.”
Don’t let the whimsy fool you into thinking
she’s a wuss or a wimp.
There’s a bitter barb to this gal’s tongue, her satiric venom
gets directed to some well deserving targets.
rivers of joan
I don’t choose to grow old, as it happens
though I’ll die
chin and cheekbones still intact
no garbage compactor can dent
the grinning roundness of my upright breasts
bouncing back from every attack
like clowns with concrete in the foot
even in death, I will not perish
like many foods
years later by excavator
I’ll be dug up, immortal in parts
and still fresh, like the curate’s egg
Eat hearty! There’s much meat on the bone here.
Dig deep! There are many little verbal jewels
lurking in the rich earth of her verse. Even the simplest poems
in this collection deserve re-reading and consideration.
You will find honesty, wisdom, humour and
the ability to capture in words
the essence of every situation.
This is after all, what Poetry should be.
so, there is a heaven:
the sky remembers everything we’ve said
every single call
every bulb of gas
the sky has eyes, the eyes of governments
twitching at the ends of stalks
missing the point yet seeing all
Now buy the book.
The Reverend Hellfire..
speaks for himself.