“Bleeds” Charles Lauder Jr (Crystal Clear Creators) – poetry review

Bleeds by Charles Lauder book cover

Charles Lauder concerns himself with human interaction with landscape, eg in “In This House”, contrast the “lush green safari-land” of happy children with the bees and weeds of the isolated children:

“The division cuts through the house in zig-zag fashion
one side lush green safari-land with the rhythm of locusts
beads of sweat row upon row lining up
to ski down the young backs the other side cordoned off
behind closed doors in cool isolation
where the children flee from the bees
and the heat and pulling weeds in their father’s garden
feet sticky and stained with grass camping out
in front of the TV all morning long. The same division
as at night when the children are ushered back
to the other side to bed the muffled peals
of their parents’ party seeping through
the wall and humidity rolling in
through the open window over their bare chests.”

Spaces are used to suggest caesura, a guide to both reading aloud and the sense of the poem. The weeds are both literal, there are weeds in the garden, and metaphoric, the parents regard their children as weeds diminishing their adult lives.

There’s also an interest in ancestry and inheritance. In “Black Dutch”, a illegitimate boy who was put up for adoption grows into a man whose

“workmates called him Andy
and his wife called him Carl
to his children he was Daddy
and to their children Pa-paw
I was the love child of a German doctor
and his maid he told the family
but by then the secret had circulated
the room Black Dutch coming to mean
Jew Comanche Mexican

but to his mother who taught him to fish
shoot drive a car at twelve and make
bathtub gin who hadn’t the heart to tell him
he wasn’t hers until after he had married to her
he would always be my little nigger baby.”

His unknown origins make him forever an outsider, given different identities by different people and never quite completely whole.

As a Texan living in England, Charles Lauder is aware of the desire to be part of a new community whilst not losing sight of his own origins. The poem’s rhythm and layout are influenced by contemporary American poetry where end of line pauses are slight and one line often runs onto the next. Spelling is mostly English with an occasional Americanism slipping in. The combination works and the themes are sustained for the length of a pamphlet. However, for a full collection, I’d like to see more experimentation, a break from the sameness of tone and rhythm. “Bleeds” is available from Crystal Clear Creators.

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4 Responses to ““Bleeds” Charles Lauder Jr (Crystal Clear Creators) – poetry review”

  1. “Gopagilla” Roy Marshall (Crystal Clear Creators) – poetry review « Emma Lee’s Blog Says:

    […] “Bleeds” Charles Lauder Jr Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditMoreEmailPrintFacebookLinkedInTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in Book review. Tags: Crystal Clear Creators, Gopagilla, Roy Marshall. Leave a Comment » […]


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