A collection of poems that covers everything from quotidian life events to the nature of religious wisdom.
In this third book of his poetry series, Chairman Steve once again reflects broadly on the nature of human life, with a particular focus on the role religion plays in it. Many of the poems here, particularly those grouped in the “New York Metaphors” and “Light and Sweet” chapters, parse specific aspects of human experience, and sometimes they resort to cheekily comic modes of explanation; for example, “sex is a spider,” “death is a door,” and, apparently, “privacy is a banana.” However, the themes that connect the bulk of the poems are religion, faith, and prayer. The author ruminates again and again on what a religious life entails, and on the many ways that human frailty disfigures it: “Human fear obscures God’s plan, / So we don't see the perfect man, / But hearts yearn on until eyes see / Man that rejoices trouble-free.” It’s difficult to find any systematic reflection on spirituality within the work; instead, the book seems to accept a less dogmatic and less institutional interpretation of communion with God. It’s also eclectic, and includes several quick comments on the mundanities of life. One of these poems, for example, is essentially an ode to the author’s underemployed exercise bike. The subject matter can turn sweet, as well; “My Crazy Obsession,” for instance, is a delightfully tender love poem. The poems largely follow a uniform meter, and the monotonous cadence may eventually wear down readers’ patience. The poems might have been improved if the author didn’t consistently restrict himself to such a limited rhyme scheme. Still, the book remains a breezy, often funny, and sometimes philosophically challenging collection.
A compilation that may appeal to readers looking for light poetic fare with just a hint of depth.