Photos by Mallory Whitten
I received my copy of think tank for human beings in general in the mail last week. It is a split chapbook of poetry by Jordan Castro and Richard Wehrenberg Jr. that is now available to order from their blogs.
The first half of the chapbook is by Jordan Castro. I have become acquainted with Jordan via the internet/emails due to his contributing to issue 1 of Pop Serial the magazine. He seems like a very nice guy.
“animal lamp sorrow,” the 2nd poem, contains some lines I especially “dug,” such as “to know what happens next is to/kill the ‘life within life’” and “i realize that i am not describing my ‘actual’ surroundings or/feelings, but that i am describing my perception of these things,/which, depending on your worldview,/could theoretically be what/is ‘actual.’” These lines seemed thoughtful and interesting.
“weak,” the next poem, is a hilarious poem about Jordan’s penis, which can be read in its entirety here.
The next 3 poems seem to be about loneliness and alienation. They seem nice.
The next poem I want to mention is “head cold blues,” which seems emotional and philosophical and nice.
“last poem” ends Jordan’s half of the chapbook in a sweet, romantic way.
It seems Jordan is a “multi-dimensional” individual/writer, in that he has a great sense of humor, but he is also introspective, sensitive, and romantic, and, “one might say,” sometimes he is a “delightful mix” of several of these qualities.
The second half of the chapbook is by Richard Wehrenberg Jr. I was new to Wehrenberg before reading this chapbook, but I figured he must be pretty neat if Jordan was “tight bros” with him.
“what ‘achieving minor celebrity status’ means” is a nice poem that can be read in its entirety here.
“excuse me” is “easily” my favorite poem by Wehrenberg in this chapbook. It is sensitive and “purposeful” as a poem, whatever that means; I guess I like how it “proceeds” from one thought to the next, and “builds,” and I like the images it uses at one point, and then it has a “sweet ending” that puts a nice “twist”/[something] on the poem that is something I always appreciate in a poem, when it has a [something] at the end that “changes”/”shifts” it a little.
“Thought I’d mention” that Wehrenberg has some metaphorical poems in here along with the “very honest”/philosophical poems, for instance “like matryoshka dolls” and “snow-people easily identify the sun as their enemy.”
“think tank for human beings in general” is the final poem and I think it works well. It kind of sums up the philosophical themes of the chapbook as a whole, and it ends on a very engaging but inconclusive note, which felt pleasing.
Overall, I enjoyed the chapbook. I’m very happy these guys made it and sent me a copy, and I hope they continue to do cool stuff and publish all over the place. Also, they should both submit some stuff for Pop Serial #2. I’d love to have some poems or something from you both.