The first chapbook of 2022—from last Autumn’s open reading period—is The lost tribes by Patrick Reardon. This one had a lot of the elements that I look for in a poetry manuscript. Feeling. Evocative imagery. Some humor. Winks at tragedy, and subversion. Pop culture and history. Cohesion. In fact, the chapbook is essentially one long poem.
The opening section is sort of a meditation on the human condition. Patrick says that this section was written first, “capturing how everyone is caught in a chaotic, unfair, yearning mechanistic existence.” He says he was inspired to write about the “kinship” he felt with the people he sees when he travels around his home in Chicago. Subsequent sections of the chapbook delve into his painful childhood and that of his brother, continuing through his brother’s difficult life and suicide. But he often returns to the touchstone of the “tribe.” “In every section,” Patrick says, “me, him, you, and anyone reading it and everyone around us are lost and also in a common tribe—adrift together.”
From Section 5:
“They found me
but fed, clothed, diaper-changed
—proprieties must be observed.”
“The lost tribes” is available on the Titles page.