Feinland (Homesick for Heaven, 2012) and his offbeat humor attempt to poetically satirize a wide variety of subjects.
As Feinland admits, this darkly humorous compilation is most definitely for adults. For one thing, a young audience likely wouldn’t appreciate Feinland’s references, e.g., Nixon and Princess Diana. Additionally, subjects sometimes cross the line of what might be deemed politically correct. For instance, Feinland leads with a poem about a molester being struck by lightning, to everyone’s delight; unfortunately, the punch line doesn’t quite deliver. Other poems, such as one about the challenges of meeting a pretty girl while one has a finger up one’s nose, exercise a more adolescent sense of humor. Later in the compilation, topics are a bit safer. For instance, in “Our Poodle,” “We would offer any bet / That none could find a sweeter pet.” The few limericks included are simply silly. Feinland’s strength as a poet is his sense of rhythm and interesting wordplay, which he jokingly but aptly describes in a poem entitled “Poetic Witchcraft”: “My adjectives go on seducing missions / As I proposition my prepositions.” Following this, Feinland writes satirical tales of people whose failed grasp of grammar impeded their success. Quirkier subjects include an ode to the pioneers whose unwittingly daring eating habits informed our current knowledge of fatal and nonfatal mushrooms. In a section on sports, Feinland pokes fun at not-often-thought-about subjects, such as the role of a third-string third baseman. Easy target Donald Trump is provoked—“he knows when to say, I don’t wanna, so he knew when to dump Ivana”—and in social commentary, Feinland poignantly mocks subjects such as the consumerism of Christmas and Easter. As a whole, the compilation seems to be a general assembly of musings and experimentation on poetic forms, without much cohesion. In his self-deprecating way, he explains: “Well, my readers are stuck with only stuff schlocked together in bad taste; this lousy computer failed and my best poems were all erased.”
Rhythmic and original but short on laughs.