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A deeper look…
Part elegy for humankind, part paean to Bette, the author’s boyhood crush, Chase Bond’s poem Atomic Kazoo reads as a compelling testament to the enduring power of memory and love. Despite the omnipresent mournful tone, a guiding light persists, even in Bond’s near-future dystopia. The narrator’s refreshing lack of syntax contribute to the sense of optimism, as if a refusal to be shackled to grammar can somehow initiate a full-on rebellion against damnation.
The poet’s power is to reveal truth, and in Atomic Kazoo the curtains are pulled back, to expose the dire results technology and greed have wrought – the ‘teakwood brookline’, if you will. The narrator’s cryptanalysis of the past yields nothing, save bleak memories and monuments to man’s inhumanity to man. Whittled down to ‘sentiments’ and ‘wallboard’.
Perhaps Bond’s greatest poetic achievement is found in the cadence. The juxtaposition of the rhythms of the words form a dynamic soundclash, like metal on mental metal forged in the forgery of the subconscious. As best exemplified in the line ‘Extricable colossus cupidity’ the discordant images compete for the reader’s mental energy. Survival of the fittest seems to be the warning; only by embracing the past can we free ourselves of it’s bonds. Like Dickens Ghost of Christmas Future, Atomic Kazoo tells it like it will be, lest.
The future is dire; sound the kazoo. Perhaps that, and your memories of young love, will save you…