2013 Reading: What Bends Us Blue by Tom Lombardo

whatbendsusblueWhat Bends Us Blue by Tom Lombardo

This is a lovely collection of poems by a friend of mine. Because it deals with the death of his first wife and meeting his second, the book is both sad and hopeful. His children are present in many of the poems, as well, and that gives the collection a sense of buoyancy; and there’s also a great deal of humor.

The poems, especially in the first two sections, explore “blue” in all its facets–the blues in the music the poet loves. The emotional blues. And the blues in the world around us.

I remember hearing Tom read “How Bill Gates Saved My Marriage” years ago. “My wife doesn’t know it but I track her cycles/on Microsoft Outlook’s calendar function,” it begins. And this isn’t the only bit of humor that you’ll find among the darker work. My favorite poem in the collection, though, is perhaps the darkest and most breathtaking. “When” is an account of getting the call that there’s been an accident. Or maybe my favorite is another horrifying poem, “Split Second to Blink,” which imagines the circumstances of the accident.

It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend this collection.

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