By Lynette G. Esposito
Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor by Mike James reads like notes to a friend. The sixty-four pages of poems are vignette paragraph stanzas that reveal an analytical mind parading images across the page for the reader to interpret.
Divided into five sections, the tome, published by Blue Horse Press of Redondo, California, covers cross dressing, body types and other observations with dry sardonic wit that pokes at traditional conventions and judgments. On page one, My Wife’s Shoes reveals that the narrator’s wife and he can interchange their foot wear. The poem opens with: Thankfully, my feet are small or hers are large…. The narrator observes that his wife looks like a British banker in my wingtips and he says I clean room after room in her flats. The image of reversing roles is successfully captured in the trading back and forth with the seemingly genderless use of the shoes while their original gender intention is kept in tact.
When one looks at the poem, Wonderland on page seventeen, James explores the metaphor of Alice and the proverbial rabbit hole. Within the seven- line one-stanza poem, the narrator of the poem suggests some rabbit holes are meant to be covered. If all is uncovered, the poem suggests it will be no more magic than the average garbage man out there collecting his stars. The paradox of revealing kills the magic. In Grace Jones on page nineteen, a similar theme is presented. The poem says, Smile at all the secrets you wish to possess.
James accomplishes the views of what is and what is not through his many poems that perceive the world in a realistic way. Why should Frank love children because he loved balloons? Why can’t a husband raid his wife’s shoe closet?
You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Jumping-Drawbridges-Technicolor-Mike-James/dp/0578465817
Lynette G. Esposito has been an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, Burlington County and Camden County Colleges. Her articles have appeared in the national publication, Teaching for Success; regionally in South Jersey Magazine, SJ Magazine. Delaware Valley Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her poetry has appeared in US1, SRN Review, The Fox Chase Review, Bindweed Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, That Literary Review, The Remembered Arts Journal, and other literary magazines.