Poetry turns me on when it’s good (what’s good?), turns on my switches, and Michael Rerick’s The Switch Yards does just that. This is an intelligent, 56 pages stretched poem (sayings, stories— haki, hikayat in Arabic) from Finishing Line Press (2017) - a singular voice, light and lyrical, often bruising or bending and twisting into a holler, a choir? Rerick seems to be on skates with unapologetic diction challenging the uses of language.
Here, silence responds, it is morning; morning coffee is telling, so is “the honest part of pants”. The socio-political stance of the poet artfully delivers, “bed game is not board game, “foreign country wrapped in a familiar language” feels hopeful, “the science of building a myth detection machine” on Page 7 twitches, reminds, is redeeming. The viewer and the viewed, the feeler and felt are documented and filmed in detail, lest the reportage is misconstrued. Dictionary-wise both challenged and enriched, this treatment style script brews emotional turns, questions and answers what’s before and after billboard, screen, the sky, all. They insist I heed it all as I need all.
At the core, Rerick’s imagination seems to seek repair as it scrapes against reinvented realities exploring the anatomy of being. Authorship is not pursued here, neither are resolution or solutions, nor elocution or lusion. Descriptive diagnostics drives it all, blurs the interchange of doer as character: corporate inserts, lists, connections, topography, all on the skateboard yeah. Jack still ‘on the road’, and we still ‘hit the road Jack’!
These words and lines cannot be dismissed. How closely but also reverently poetry and the dish pit of a restaurant mentioned in the poet’s bio are related. Lastly I’ll mention the dialogue on Pages 26-27, stunningly seedy eh, “… fearless, ha ha … ”, a song perhaps. Ghastly spontaneous, the written word prevails.