oems: poems by Matthew Tomkinson

oems, make no mistake, are poems, but why is the collected called oems? The book is composed of 36 lipograms, in this case procedural poems which have the constraint that none can use no words with letters that have descenders nor ascenders (no b,p,l, t, f, h, g, y, etc). And yet themes cluster and moments pop. Meaning, intention, morality, focus, finds ways through. In xxii there’s even a narrative of a hit and run.

Shall I review in kind?

see? we consume norms. oems cause narrow manoeuvres. mourn or curse issue in oems’ scarce resources? no issue. no crime, we converse across wee arcs, accrue some memories.

an oem mesmerizes varies, carries, can censor or care. no minor inane verse, sermons in oems raise our awareness. see p. 34

is a
war crime

we narrow in on size of oem? or on uncommon neurosis? war reoccurs. some crass sex, excuses. marxism, commerce, crisis ‘cause we see on p. 31

“our universe
as one
massive ruse”

p. 28

evasive manoevers
zero-sum scenarios “

in numerous senses we receive cream in a sieve, sense some sure mirror, never unseen.

is essence in an oem in a nuance, or an aversive mannerism? a new concision is won in oems’ one wee-room vision.

commonsense oems cue an awe, a wow, as in p. 37, poem xxii,

“we saw men convene
in an anxious swarm
saw cameras zoom in
on a rescue mission
or a crime scene
no one was sure”

moreover, oems cover a sincere music, an oceanic reason, sonic as a monsoon’s concussive rain in a saucer, in a microcosm, p 26


About the Author

Matthew Tomkinson is a writer, composer, and doctoral candidate in Theatre STudies at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of For a Long Time, a chapbook out with Frog Hollow Press, and the coauthor of Archaic Torso of Gumby, an experimental short fiction collection out with Gordon Hill Press.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Guernica Editions (Nov. 1 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 64 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1771837632
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1771837637

Pearl Pirie's WriteBulb is now available at the Apple store. A prompt app for iOS 15 and up gives writing achievement badges. Pirie’s 4th poetry collection was footlights (Radiant Press, 2020).  rain’s small gestures (Apt 9 Press, 2021), minimalist poems, won the 2022 Nelson Ball Prize. Forthcoming chapbooks from Catkin Press and Turret House. Find more at www.pearlpirie.com or at patreon.com/pearlpiriepoet