Poetry Review — Last Stop To Saskatoon

we are still treading water in a sewer
as the world keeps moving in wrong
direction and the bullets bloody the walls
in the nuclear afternoon
and it’s enough to drive completely unholy
madness into rust-faded society as the
leaves of grass wither away
and melt and fade —

Last Stop To Saskatoon by Tony Nesca is a single poem spanning almost 90 pages. Nesca was born in Torino, Italy in 1965 and moved to Canada at the age of three. He was raised in Winnipeg but relocated back to Italy several times until finally settling in Winnipeg in 1980.

The Last stop to Saskatoon is a poem that flows and moves keeping the reader’s interest without repeating. Reminiscent of Ginsberg’s “Howl” this is a poem that strikes hard and fast in the opening and then mellows as it goes on. It grips the reader’s attention at first and continues to hold it with a lyrical flow. The poem moves from the ideal to the gritty capturing a generation with references to Jim Morrison, The Clash, The Ramones, and Jimmy Page. Today’s youth are seen as addicted to their phones and screens. The rants are meaningful:

shoot the moon
kiss the job goodbye
mind the revolution
burn the house down
kill your smartphone
smash your computer
thrash your car
love your spouse
join the sorrow
smile at night
kick the poet’s ass

The rants always have a bit of positivism to them. There is the recognition of lost youth and the problems of the adult world. But there is always something left:

you see the blood-stained butterflies
hovering with wings of steel and
desperate sadness
and you wonder where, when, why —
But do you see the beauty?

A well-done poem certainly worth reading especially if one is the member of the over 40 crowd. Cultural references abound throughout the work. The rhythm of the words makes this a hard book to put down and one that can be enjoyed many times over.

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