Chem Trails by Quinten Collier – a review

by February 3, 2016 0 comments

It is always a pleasure to see our Contributing Poets have their work published. Here is one worthy of note, published last Fall by Bobtimystic Books from Brooklyn, New York:

Chem Trails (Collected Poems: 2008 – 2014) is a compilation of poetry by Quinten Collier, one of our Contributing Poets since 2010. Many of the poems in this volume first debuted on his poetry page.

This collection contains old and new works in a single volume; The Mind a Fractured Circus (2008), Visions, Asylums & Encomium Paintings (2008), Out of the Ether (2008) and new works in Chem Trails (2014). The three earlier collections have been available on Amazon. But, this collection, combining all four, (also available on Amazon) can be purchased directly from Bobtimystic Books on their site.

Each segment is introduced with a quote; selected by Quinten to resonate through our cortices as we read his poetry. First is The Mind a Fractured Circus (2008). The quote is from Robert Anton Wilson, Any overt action against the power structure is doomed to failure because of the techniques of control that have been developed, but the anarchistic impulses of art cannot be governed, which postulate Quinten proceeds to prove with a delightful range of rags and rants; full of spastic, iconoclastic gymnastics for the brain. Mushrooms on Love sets a fine example as it posits a theorem to test Wilson’s postulate,

We’re science fiction space cadets
Emerging onto the ashen pink terrain of Hell
From a fold in Eternity –

Yes, we are! We recommend a Red Bull to bolster your bounce into this workout.

Next comes Visions, Asylums & Encomium Paintings (2008), led by a quote from Edna St. Vincent Millay, You have done wisely to invite the night before the darkness came. So, wisely, softly, Quinten approaches all things profane and divine here. His images and ideas are a cool breeze to a dandelion parachute ball. For example Ether Holiday will blow your mind; to read and to see it. And in Haiku, questions are asked which put stress to rest,

Why must we be named?
Clouds, drops of rain, all live

He even peppers these profundities with passion, as in Transcription of a Lotus Vine in Memphis, saying,

She exhales a dove.
A palace of thimbles quakes
And never ceases to collapse.

As shall we, into our reflective reveries, fueled by Quinten’s imagery, yes.

Third comes Out of the Ether (2008), with a curt quote from Samuel Beckett, Fuck life. In these, armed with Beckett’s cold abandon, Quinten challenges direction, destination; subjecting all to redefinition. Welcome to My Hallucination places new labels on our collective existence. Here’s one,


Grin and wear it, friends. A wild random read. Fuck life, indeed!

Last comes a set of new poems in Chem Trails (2014). With all previous constructs fallen, Quinten forges ahead into new territory. We read and follow, dazed and delighted.

Air Cysts combines familiar words into impossible constructs, crazy new entities, begging description; our imaginations are his palette,

Rickety Tooth
Runt’s Congested
Bipolar Vulgus!

Put your brain into these exercises, see what new understandings ensue. Receive our new marching orders, as in Infra-Dada Manifesto,

Receive the ordinance.
Give back your property.
Tend to the flock.

Speak some of these aloud. Try to stifle your smiles, quell your laughter, as with Popsicle Aquifer,

This decadent polyester balloon candy
Entices me.
Automatic sugar
Diabetes moonbeam
Slash eulogy seduces me…

Enticed and seduced we are, ensconced in this read.

Read Chem Trails cover to cover, in one huge consuming gulp (you’ll survive a better soul); or, pick and choose, like a big buffet, nibble here, slurp there, eat and ideate. Either way, you’ll find you need a bigger hat size when you’re done. Pure fun!

– mh clay

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