Two Cops Kissing

Description

$2.50
ISBN 0-919957-09-9

Author

Publisher

Year

1984

Contributor

Reviewed by Martin Singleton

Martin Singleton was a poet living in Toronto.

Review

This is a chapter of haiku from the iconoclastic author of Jack and Jill in Toronto. Jones has also edited Other Channels: An Anthology of New Canadian Poetry, by Associate Members of the League of Canadian Poets. Two Cops opens with a defiant and rather adolescent introduction, in which Jones describes his involvement with, and eventual eschewing of, the haiku form.

The 32 haiku in his book are mainly strong ones, although a few suffer from banality: “After love /the click of June bugs /against the glass.” The introduction expresses much dissatisfaction with poets who remain content in using traditional forms and “avoided the modernism of contemporary Japanese haiku.” Accordingly, few haiku have the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count, although the majority refer either directly or indirectly to seasons. Rather, Jones sets his best poems firmly in the city, where the juxtaposition of plum blossoms and Adidas, pigeons and rally leaflets, crickets and lawnmowers exists. There is in the best of these haiku a vitality of perception that makes the whole book worthwhile: “Summer afternoon: /a broken neon sign argues /with cicadas.” There is some danger of Jones falling into a formulaic, Bukowski-like anger (one per continent is quite enough). He should not: he is already too good a writer.

Citation

Jones, Daniel, “Two Cops Kissing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37257.