Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rodney DeCroo's second poetry collection, Next Door to the Butcher Shop, explores the permeability of memory and uncovers heart-wrenching beauty from shadowy grit.
How quickly age
descends on us. Our memories are maps
to places that don't exist. I was an emperor
on a green lawn wearing a white sheet
and a paper crown. The birds sang my praises
from the hedges and the trees
DeCroo unsentimentally recounts moments suffused with grief, longing and loss, and offers a refreshingly unfiltered view of one's self.
I'd stand for days along the edges of expressway
to sing off-key into the screams of semi-trailers and cars
until I stood within a cocoon of silence and flashing shadows
In a deft combination of lyrical and visceral imagery, Next Door to the Butcher Shop offers a rare, sharp, first-hand perspective of life around the edges, with dark comedy dispersed throughout.