#HookedOnPoetry: Featuring “Shadow I” & “Persona I” by Joseph VanBuren
As most of you are catching on to now, the #HookedOnPoetry project is continuing throughout May, or as long as I have poetry to post. After taking a weekend break, we have been back with poetry this week!
See about the poetry project overall HERE if you missed it and head to catch yesterday’s poetry by Cina Pelayo HERE at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Also, watch for more tomorrow there, then join us back here on Friday.
Let me introduce you to today’s featured poet, Joseph VanBuren. For quite a few years I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Joseph and following his work. He’s a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. A lyricist and a poet in all regards. He is always pushing societal norms and urging us through his work to analyze ourselves and learn about each other. He’s kind and supportive in this business and we don’t find that every day (hopefully more days than others). I was happy to choose him for a spot when I curated/edited the poetry section of the anthology Haunted Are These Houses and I always follow his new work.
my other skin,
fits like a glove.
Looks like the leather
but it is mine.
I was born into it.
Incubated in hangover,
gifted with angry genes,
shat out into slums,
tendered by the beatings of judgements
and molded by punishment
only found in solitude.
Spending quality time
by myself but not
The infinite hum of loneliness.
The rumbling rage of rejection.
In the nebulous clouds of neglect
the shadow was formed,
the mask first worn.
Mad and crazy are merely colloquial.
They don’t use those words any more,
but euphemisms are shrouds and not graves.
He is a product of his tortured past
they will say
before they torture me presently.
to reject this mask
the way the world has rejected me.
From his collection Mask: Shadow
is the face
of the underdog
of a superhero
of a Robin Hood
of a hood being robbed
of the redlined district
of the repressed voice
of a different future.
created out of mental schemas
forged from social constructs
shaped by subjective perceptions
tainted with mortality salience
and colored by our history
Change the world
or the world changes you
and gives you a new mask,
depending on the current task.
Depending on who you ask.
We are not two-faced
(not all of us)
(not all the time)
but adapting to different situations.
This is how we got here.
Top of the food chain.
Bottom of the abyss.
Don’t let your mask wear you.
From his collection Mask: Persona
Check out this previously unpublished Haiku image!
Joseph VanBuren is a multimedia storyteller who creates dark tales about broken pasts, uncertain futures, and the present struggle of love and light. He is also the scrambled brains behind Sykophunk Productions.
JVB’s work has been published in the magazines The Sirens Call, Horror Trash Sleaze, and Rattle + Rictus, as well as the anthologies Untimely Frost, Haunted are These Houses, and Bards Against Hunger. He spent a year as the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Confluence. He has written, recorded, and produced hundreds of songs; opened up for national touring acts like Rehab, Anybody Killa, and 2 Live Crew; had one of his tracks played on The Colbert Report; and is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.
Spawned from the haunted Hudson Valley, New York, JVB now lives in the Midwest with his beloved wife and adorably neurotic dog. He uses the language of horror and other misunderstood media to speak for misunderstood people. Recent projects include a trilogy of poetry books, Masks, with accompanying soundtracks. Connect on introverted media @JVBsykophunk.
You can find out more about Joseph by visiting his Official Website www.josephvanburen.com