Book Review – Bobby Parker reviews Thought Disorder

Thought Disorder by Joshua Jones
Published by Knives Forks & Spoons Press

Finally, a poet who can reach me on this lonely plateau, where middle-aged duds circle my malnourished bookshelf like vultures flapping wings of twee verse, their pretty beaks sharpened on domestic landscapes I couldn’t give a fuck about.

Joshua Jones writes strange, witty poems that, wrapped in the everyday, carefully bridge the gap between surrealism and a charming way of looking at the world from the point of view of a manic, beard stroking hipster.

He explores perception with a philosophical edge and a self-awareness that reaches beyond itself and floats around in a wilful, poststructural bubble floating in and out of the self and the people around him.

In these poems, Tom Waits growls with ‘a question mark that dangles / like a poisonous snake.’ CCTV cameras tell him ‘you’ll never know yourself / I will always know more.’ And his mind ‘is a room full of men aging / stupidly quickly / running around / after the notion of flesh’ (this reminds me of Francis Bacon’s paintings, always a good thing).

Thought Disorder is broken into four parts, with sharp, penetrating poetry and playful prose flickering side by side. There is also a sense of menace rubbing its hands between the lines, though not enough to make you anxious, it is enough to make you question your own place in this world of juxtapositions and fragile relationships.  

The metaphors are striking, ‘a splurge of rain / like blood from a headshot/ splattered / across the windscreen.’ and quirky ‘When I was a kid this guy spoke / of the horizon / told me how / everything looks smaller there / like backgrounds in cartoons.’
Overall, I would say buy this book for two reasons, 1: because this may be the antidote you have been looking for, and 2: because without it you might start feeding the vultures.   

… reviewed by Bobby Parker

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