Bouncy House

poems by Michael Estabrook

Green Zone Editions
Copyright © Michael Estabrook
softbound, no price given

A chapbook review by zvi a. sesling

The poem in the middle of michael estabrook’s new poetry chapbook made me laugh when it should not have, which is a positive indicator of his poetry.

The Boston Strangler

I’m at my desk at work
finishing up a poem about frogs
(everything in my life ends up
in a poem it’s a sad yes
but what can you do?)
when one of my co-workers
sticks his shiny bald head
into my office and says
“hey I heard this great joke
on TV last night about a frog…”
of course I’m stunned by the coincidence
but can’t say anything about it
because nobody at work knows
I’m a poet when I’m not at work
like the Boston Strangler was a strangler
when he wasn’t driving a cab

I get how Estabrook thinks. Some of these poems are nostalgic and other humorous. Each is based on something in his experience. The poem “Flashback” for example begins with a young engineer explaining something that reminds Estabrook of his father in a kind, warm way, while in “Bigfoot” there are a dozen other names for the legendary character and Estabrook writes from Bigfoot’s perspective.

Then there is his poem “Peter Sellers” which speaks for itself:

When I woke this morning
I was surprised to see how much
my wife looked like Peter Sellers.
Maybe it was the way her nose
came out from her face
or the way her hair lay flat against
the side of her head or maybe
it was because the light
was so dim. I’m not certain
but I was worried because I know
peter Sellers is dead.

Okay I’m not supposed to laugh at this one either, but couldn’t help myself because if anything, Michael Estabrook has a terrific sense of humor which he is able, unlike many poets, to make leap off the page and slap you silly.

He has also written one about himself, his grandchildren, earlobes, feeding ducks, eating lobster rolls and a number of other subjects any reader can breeze through and enjoy – hopefully as much as I did.