It’s not often that I read poetry, so when I do I make sure it’s the good stuff. Sierra DeMulder‘s poetry most definitely is the good stuff. Until I snagged New Shoes on a Dead Horse, most of my knowledge of her poetry was limited to what I could find around Youtube and the internet. Videos like this hooked me:
Seriously, how often do you hear stories about Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother that make you cry? I know I hadn’t before a friend introduced me to Slam Poetry and DeMulder’s unique blend of stark images and lyric delivery. I get goosebumps every time she describes the noise of bones dropped into the bucket, as well as the pain in her eyes when she asks if Dahmer put his own heart in the freezer beside the thought of her. Her performances are amazing and heartfelt and her printed poetry is just as touching.
New Shoes on a Dead Horse’s most intriguing aspect is the presence of a character referred to as “The Genius,” who shows up in 18 of the collection’s poems. He’s an interesting character who seems to reinvent himself throughout the collection and experience most of what life has to offer. There is tragedy and ecstasy in his poems, as well as more than a little comedy.
This artful blend of tragic situations with a sardonic self-awareness populates the pages of this bright little book. DeMulder has hidden many insights to life, love, work, family, children, dating, art, and more in her words and between them. It’s a treasure of a book, one that should be picked up and leafed through regularly, even after the binding wears and the colors begin to fade from use.
Overall, this is one of the best things I’ve read this year. I can say without a doubt that your bookshelf would benefit from the presence of New Shoes on a Dead Horse.
“She’s got/ too many heads on that vase of a neck./ Must be like making love/ to a puppet show.” – “The Genius Shares His Opinion of Astrology”
“I am the flower and the bulb./ I am the tree and the reflection/ of the tree in the river. Wake up/ reflection. Wake up shadow./ Make me a sea creature/ or a Rorschach painting.” – “Wake Up”