‘Fore’ is what golfers say when they swing those bats after they get a touchdown. At least that’s what I think happens. I don’t really know, most people get into golf sometime in their late 60s after they’ve saved enough money to stop caring about important things. Right now I’m not in my late 60s and I don’t plan on being in my late 60s for a long time.
“Four” is what happens when Carolyn DeCarlos and Jackson Nieuwlands come together via the internet to create their own language. Carolyn is no strange to collaborations: she worked extensively on her “Down” project over the summer with the wonderful Ras Mashramani. Now she’s decided to follow her heart all the way to New Zealand. Hopefully if she’s able to accumulate enough American currency she can visit one Jackson Nieuwland.
Jackson Nieuwland has been having a great week. What more can I say? First he rejoins Facebook, then gets in a Facebook relationship, and now he may have a potential visitor from halfway across the world (note: all places are halfway across the world in relation to New Zealand. New Zealand is near nothing.) Yep, things are pretty sweet for Mr. Nieuwland.
Their chapbook convinces me of their affection for the English language. Going through the euphemism for the word “four letter word” they quickly proceed onward to each contributor’s quirks. Carolyn focuses on a more sexually charged vocabulary, similar to her work on “Down”. Jackson follows up with his attention to repetition in his work.
Nor do they stop with mere words. Pictures of Swag, Slugs, and smiling pills adorn the pages. They want you to be happy. Words themselves are multi-colored in a scheme similar to Jackson’s famous Tumblr page. Stories veer from extreme darkness “Pill” to erect fun “Swag” and in between.
My favorite part almost goes inside my head. “Tree” sounds eerily similar to my idea of reincarnation. In case that exists I’d like to be a tree since no one would expect anything more of me than for me to give them shade, warmth, and comfort. Jackson focuses on the Chestnut tree in his word due to his belief that chestnuts are the best nuts, a rap which went viral all over Uzbekistan and received serious airplay from major college radio stations. I do love trees and reading about their feelings on them I’m glad I’m not alone in my beliefs. Besides, this poem may also be a metaphor for Jackson’s extreme height.
“Five” ends the poem as it is the highest the numbers go. On that note they mention the joys of simplicity and spelling. Nothing is resolved, only a hope that more four letter words come about to make the world a better place.
Jackson and Carolyn have a positive, optimistic view of the world. I hope they get to see each other either this year or next. We need a little bit more positivity in the world. With “Four” I see there are people trying to bring it to the masses. Check it out. “Four” is a beautiful chapbook in myriad ways. Support their love. Give them money. Receive their love.