Donald Faulkner, Bits of Colored Glass (Onix Publishing, 1967)
Bits of Colored Glass, Donald Faulkner’s fourth book of doggerel, is not my first brush with one of greater Cleveland’s most infamous purveyors of awful poesy; I read The Casket and the Rose back in 2005, and it was horrific. And yet, I had another Faulkner on my shelf I had picked up at the same time. And knowing that, I couldn’t help myself. I made my bed, etc.
Bits of Colored Glass is just as mind-numbingly terrible as The Casket and the Rose, and for exactly the same reason: where Faulkner was concerned, poetry did not exist past the year 1700. It was a chore when I read this sort of stuff in college, and it is doubly so now, especially when written by someone who was active in the latter half of the twentieth century.
“The world has e’er seemed like a cruel, unfriendly place;
My heart ever shy bears the hurt and my soul the bruise
Of countless rebuffs by my fellows, all callous and base
Those fellows, avoided, disliked all my days of youth.”
(–25, from “His Son”)
There are so many things wrong with that passage I don’t quite know where to begin. Suffice to say that if Faulkner actually spoke like that, I’d lay dollars to doughnuts no one around him knew what he was on about. Now, imagine seventy-two pages of that. Half a star because I finished it.