Poems by Ron Kolm
“Ron Kolm’s title for his stellar book of poems, Divine Comedy, echoes Dante. But Dante had an older poet, Vergil, to guide him through the levels of Hell. And even though Kolm descends into Hell as deeply, he has no one to guide him out. More Stones than Beatles, more Joyce than Steinbeck, Kolm uses words like bullets, images as bombs. But this is not a book of despair; it s a fervent belief that you can write yourself out of a nightmare.”– Hal Sirowitz, author of Mother Said: Poems, Stray Cat Blues and former Poet Laureate of Queens, NY.”Ron Kolm lines up his sites and lets his poems fall right on target. Part pastiche, part cri de coeur, he has successfully limned the archetype of a normal guy, refining this vision throughout his career. Foibles and fantasies are rendered into deftly sculpted verses, demonstrating a sharp eye for detail and near perfect cadence. By turns poignant, droll, wry and randy, Kolm is a clear master of the overblown understatement. His unique style of deadpan, noir romanticism is sublime.” — Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, author of Triple Crown: Three Crowns of Sonnets, Employment of the Apes and editor/publisher of Live Mag!”This is life written precisely, exactly as it happened and broken into intuitively rhythmic stanzas, which makes it all seem like a hard joke you want to keep repeating.”– Chavisa Woods, author of The Albino Album and Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind.”Ron Kolm is a legendary downtown writer, and his sparse lyrics speed through the perpetual present of a large city. Shadowed by enigmatic guilt, these poems are tense encounters, haunted by a lover s hostility, real or perceived. Every emotion is double-edged, every glance torn between Eros and the abyss. The tone walks the edge between playful and desperate. Divine Comedy is a powerful experiment in immediacy; unnerving and visionary.”– D. Nurkse, author of A Night in Brooklyn: Poems, Burnt Island and The Border Kingdom.
“Ron Kolm writes poems so unassuming, so self-effacing, they’re puddles of reality oiling a poetry skin. But that’s ok, because the dirt can’t cover itself, the heart is a sinker, and the only way off the island is to walk through the mental institution. You intuitively know the mental institution is actually the world, but Ron would never tell you that. He just lives ’em. Lives where guns are forever cocked and the gloves all have holes. Those are the times I reach for Ron’s poems. They make sense, when nothing else does.” Bob Holman, author of Picasso in Barcelona, Aloud: Voices From the Nuyorican Poets Café and Director of the Bowery Poetry Club.