Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pictures of Salukis Looking Majestic by Russ Woods

                Russ Woods, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. There is no need to say it again now. What he does amazes me. Russ curates Red Lightbulbs with his wife Meghan Lamb. Both of them have a dog that inspires literary talent throughout the Chicago area. In their dog’s spare time, he edits poetry and plays in an avant-garde witchhouse/dubstep group.

                ‘Pictures of Salukis Looking Majestic’ begins with an argument. Or rather, Russ does not want an argument. In ‘All We Grow is Old’ he celebrates how people occasionally write about vital things about Christmastime, though that is due to armies of monkeys on typewriters. The whole thing gives off an ‘un-happy holidays’ vibe which is exactly what we need right now. 

                I like ‘City-Girl’. I enjoy how people change from cities to people. The poem reminds of Stereolab’s ‘The Incredible He Woman’. I don’t know why exactly. Reading about the transformation of a city into a woman makes sense. Cities are thought to have a personality, thus a transformation into a person doesn’t appear that unusual. 

                ‘Following Rules’. I do this every day. Russ follows them every day. Glad he does not eat silica gel. Eating silica gel is bad. Happy that ‘Following Rules’ acknowledges this important fact of life, that silica gel may be fine for sneakers but not for people. Russ encourages other to follow his path, his path of clean, good living. 

                Tiny things die inside of us each and every day. We can’t do a darn thing about it. Russ expresses frustration. He wonders how cells do in different parts of his body. Can they survive in new parts of his body? Are parts of body better or worse than others? I wonder, is there such a thing as body gentrification. 

                ‘All of my Teeth’ is the hallmark poem, the height of the Saluki. They do look majestic. Seeing their hopeful gaze at a world that doesn’t speak dog, well, it gives me hope. It fills me with happiness, much like the happiness Russ experiences. Unlike Russ, no dog has ever come into my bedroom late at night. Maybe someday I can see a dog come in late at a night, but not tonight. 

                ‘Real Cool Bands’ mocks the idea of cool bands. Now I don’t know much about cool bands, hip attitudes, or things of that nature, but a band with a polar bear player is blog-worthy. Probably that player would be eaten by the bear, but all art requires danger. Sometimes you just got to play that polar bear like you just don’t care…about your physical well-being. 

                The Fourth Quarter of this Fiscal Year deals with a tough year. We are in a recession right now. It is common for workers to slowly lose their minds and live in the rafters. Rafters can be a worker’s best friends, as can condiments in the refrigerator help to provide nourishment. 

                Mr. Woods is a man with a series of poems, poems about work, about dogs, about fucking invisible people. ‘Pictures of Salukis Looking Majestic’ is a collection of poems about America, sweet land of liberty.