Larry O. Dean, abbrev (Beard of Bees Press, 2011)
Half of Larry Dean’s e-chapbook abbrev is interesting, fun, and inventive. The other half makes me wonder how that first half came about. Which makes it pretty tough to come up with a coherent review. That said, it’s easy to draw the line between the two. Each poem here is based on an acronym, and uses that acronym to define the first letters of each word in the poem. The good stuff comes when Dean decides to try and thread these together into coherent sentences:
“Bring your other brother
before you obliterate bullfrogs
because yesterday Oscar balked…”
The rest feels almost computer-generated, just lists of words that use the acronym as a guidepost:
“Too mawkish inspiration.
Too mellifluous intonation.
Too meddlesome interferers.
Too meaningless integrity.
Too miserable influenza.
Too momentary idyll….”
Given the cost of the thing (all of Beard of Bees’ chaps are available at their website for free), it’s worth getting through the uninspired stuff to get to the more creative work here. And if you enjoy the rest of it as well, then more power to ya. ** ½