There is a refreshing versatility to this collection with poems satisfying of sound and sharp in musicality, which are perfect for a listening audience. And there are poems best read in solitude where they can be shared privately by writer and reader. Furthermore, there are poems which serve all the above purposes and they usually do it without transgressing the bounds of a single page.
If there is an overriding theme in this book of selected works, it is one of being driven to do better, to be better; a continuation in the strive which manifests itself in the creative act. Chameleon is broad in subject matter and style, it is amusing at times, often moving and persistently far-reaching. Charles Joseph writes about the ordinary and the extraordinary, and he does so with honesty and heart.
I’ll end, if you’ll indulge me, on a personal note by mentioning my favourite poem of the batch. Poetry Dad, dedicated to Rebecca Weber, quenches a particular thirst of mine. The two-page piece self ridicules the insecure writer and celebrates a community of poets who are proud of each other’s achievements; spurring each other on in that stead. I’ve read my share of small press articles, blog posts, interviews, etc. and listened to my share of podcasts and radio shows dedicated to independent writing and publishing. In doing so I have come to the conclusion that there are none quite so dreary as the writers who publicly dismiss the artistic endeavor of their fellow creative types. They have this weird compulsion to discredit the bulk of their peers as though they have written the defining line. They are miserly with compliments and niggardly with book recommendations. They form little cliques where they gather in a small huddle, tickle each other’s balls and giggle. Fuck those guys. Give me a sense of community, give me the celebration of the next generation’s creativity, give me Charles Joseph, give me a poetry dad.
Author: Charles Joseph
Publisher: Indigent Press
Publication Date: June 2017