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Today's book of poetry, michael dennis, tuesday september 8, 2015In Greg Simison's fourth collection of poetry, Miscellaneous Wreckage, he is letting all his ya-ya's out.
There are some absolutely hilarious divorce poems wafting around inside this madhouse of humour and stiff-upper-lip resolution. Simison's poems sound like your favourite smart-ass uncle ruminating with educated candor.
There are no poetry tricks, gimmicks or hysterics. These are salt of the earth, steady, sturdy poems. Think of Raymond Souster with a couple of wise scotch into him.
Today's book of poetry thinks, as the poet has already confessed, that Simison is a hopeless romantic in slightly grumpy skin. We took a poll around the office and eventually came to a consensus, we here at Today's Book of Poetry believe that Simison has a large gold ring in one of his ears in case he buys the farm on a foreign shore.
He is clearly a pirate.
The comedy and ease of these heartwarming poems disguise a specific moral code of conduct that Simison has built his voice around. He doesn't waver and we like this voice. It is smart, brash, bold and ultimately - very tender.
If you are lucky you have a Greg Simison in your life. A wise/wisecracking decoder, someone who tells the terrible truth with compassion. These poems grow on you, they compound, and collectively they hum.
Simison has made no attempt to package these poems as a narrative, each poem stands alone, yet cumulatively coalesce into something important. Miscellaneous Wreckage would make Simison's proper and prim mother proud, it is tea on the table.
Reading Miscellaneous Wreckage was like meeting up with an old friend and hearing all their stories. Greg Simison writes with just the right amount of distrust and disdain to disguise how much his loves this world and all of us in it.
— Michael Dennis
Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Saturday DEcember 13, 2014Like Prospero in Shakespeare's Tempest, who says he'll retire and let every third thought be his grave, Moose Jaw poet Greg Simison spends a good chunk of his latest collection, Miscellaneous Wreckage, talking about death coming for him or, he prays not, for his children.
Simison has a casual, chatting over-coffee style that includes gratitude for good things in life, quite a few jokes - such as Male Enhancement, Arrangements, and Doggy Day Care, which aren't all that funny—some sharp jabs at ex-wives and some genuinely thoughtful bits of basic philosophy.
Poems such as 9C, about a friend dying, Happy Returns, about a grandpa's raucous birthday, Calls, about a mother dying, Son, another one about death, and Celestial Mechanics, about an older man noticing a lovely, young woman, which resists the need to be comical, all have a simple, even graceful, profundity. Clear speaking on timeless subjects.
— Bill Robertson