Divine Comedy Poems by Ron Kolm
Fly By Night Press, 2013
Reviewed by Kevin Riordan
Ron Kolm, whom for the purposes of this review I will think of as Kid Danté, is an artist whose canvas is the kind on which you go down for the count. But not this palooka.
He goes 32 rounds in this match with the poetic form, not counting graphic relief between rounds by ten gifted illustrators. The result is arnica for the soul. He delivers a nice combination of thrusts, jabs, uppercuts and sucker punches in this exhibition of the sweet science of the stanza. The bodily fluids fly but he never loses heart, whether he’s taking down Death, JFK or a can-opener wielding girlfriend. His cauliflower ear for the New York street, bedroom, tap or factory is as true as his bloodshot eye for the absurdity of his place and time. While he holds poetry up by the armpits from time to time, he takes no dive and neither filches nor ducks. The Void gives him the biggest jolt of any bout, and the women often have him on the ropes, but he comes out swinging every time, not with fancy footwork but steady; implacable — despite little birdies floating over his shoulders. I can only conclude that, as below, somebody up there likes him.