my life is yellow teeth
and yellow pages
and yellow blood through my yellow heart
but there is a fly at the bottom of the glass
six legs up
worse off than me
or so I think
– from “The Barman“
Poetry doesn’t have to overwhelm. It doesn’t have to be complicated or triggering. Sometimes Poetry just tells a story. It tells about how days move through light and dark and pomp and circumstance. It talks about how once in a while there is a break in the clouds and things feel, well, at least comfortable.
Stephen Denehan’s Miles of Sky Above, Miles of Earth Below (Cajun Mutt Press) is exactly what it needs to be, and what so many other collections aren’t. It’s life at life’s pace with life problems and loves and excitement where there should be. It’s hard to write about the day to day and actually keep it interesting, but Denehan doesn’t have that problem. Deneham gives us journals through poetry – insights through line breaks and casual Fridays.
Denehan is sort of like Bukowski, if Bukowski wrote while drinking rather than drunk. It’s proof that poetry doesn’t need to be complicated to tell a damn good story.