Collage: Jerome Berglund

Jerome Berglund
Jerome Berglund has published book reviews and essays on poetry and poetics in Fireflies’ Light, Frogpond, Haiku Canada, Hooghly Review, the Mamba, North of Oxford, Setu, Valley Voices, also frequently exhibits poetry, short stories, plays, and fine art photography in print magazines, online journals, and anthologies.

Cut-up poetry and collage artwork, appropriating and repurposing of words and imagery has established itself in literary and visual practices as an exciting means of both discovering unexpected subtexts to material, and shining a mirror outward and inward, critiquing the broader culture and locating unexpected vantage points into our own inner landscapes, enacting a free association akin process of sorts to articulate our unconscious voice, conjure and name the various personal totems and archetypes which both plague and protect us individually. Like the ink blot or dream journal, ouija and vision boards, such pursuits are highly enlightening and valuable to explore, often yielding thought provoking and unexpected results.

Haikai poetry perhaps most specifically of the many diverse forms at our disposal, closely corresponding to nature oriented symbolist and imagist allegory, is deeply connected to the seasons, and the different stages and harbingers of growth and proliferation both spontaneous and human cultivated figure prominently into haiku and tanka quite profoundly, intersecting with senryu and kyoka often no less instrumentally. Figuratively these three pieces articulate a pruning of harmful excesses and nurturing toward essential components our collective civilizations and generations desperately require, as every human together on this embattled planet in fellowship we are reminded by Walt Whitman and John Donne respectively represents a collective system in fragile harmony, and these individual ‘leaves of grass’ one can appreciate both personally and as a member of a painterly scene taken as a whole landscape. 

Pablo Neruda reminds us constructively that despite attempts to weed out wildflowers spring in the literal and metaphoric senses is an inevitability, and just so mankind’s ultimate progress, amelioration and gradual improvement cannot long be stifled, despite thorough and meticulous attempts by those in whose interests repression and subjugation benefit, the empires and hegemonies sanity and necessity ultimately topple. These poems remind us too of the importance of organization, of class consciousness, of solidarity across demographics and mutual aligning objectives, of the significance of seeking out knowledge beyond the perverted, controlled narratives expounded by the entirely dishonest and compromised mainstream media, increasingly more transparent in their deceits and manipulations to benefit a warmongering, polluting, exploitative subset representing a tenth of a percentage of the earth’s population intent on nothing but further consolidating the overall wealth and resources into smaller and smaller numbers of hands, and subjugating the earth and its inhabitants along geographical and class lines predicated on generations of expropriation and cumulative differential allocation of opportunities, dynastic transfer of assets and properties and consequent savaging of the average laymen with rents and duties. 

Rejecting prevailing narratives and divisionisms, reclaiming of co-opted language, spreading of ideas and increasing of awareness and camaraderie across borders of space, faction, dialect, age, our daily struggle to communicate and forge meaningful bonds via outreach and empathy are the most momentous pieces of gardening in our dedicated plots of this great ‘unweeded garden gone to seed’ we can offer our challenging time and humankind, and I firmly believe myself and you can make an essential contribution to remedying this rank state we find ourselves to have inherited at present!

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