Call Me Snake By William Heyen
“Call Me Snake” is separated into three different sections. They are “Competition,” “Romance” and “The Football Corporations.” I’m always one that reads the Table of Contents (TOC) to see what’s in store for me as a reader. Unique and I can’t wait to see what he does with this are two thoughts that come to mind with this new collection by Heyen.Amazon USA
“Call Me Snake”
By William Heyen
Review by LB Sedlacek
“Call Me Snake” is separated into three different sections. They are “Competition,” “Romance” and “The Football Corporations.” I’m always one that reads the Table of Contents (TOC) to see what’s in store for me as a reader. Unique and I can’t wait to see what he does with this are two thoughts that come to mind with this new collection by Heyen.
The poems in the first section are sports related. Most of them have to do with football. Not to fulfil a cliché’ but yes I am a female that doesn’t watch sports at all on TV or in person. (I do, however, watch school sports!) My philosophy on this is that I’d rather be participating in the sport (good or bad or in-between) than sitting around watching it. Wrestling, volleyball, skateboarding are included here, too. You do not need to be familiar with sports, though, to read these poems. They are not simply poems about a football game, or another sport but rather an intense exploration of life through sports, because of sports or possibly what goes on in practice, retirement after playing and during the entertainment of this pastime.
From the poem “Draft”:
“He’s got what we call the right work ethic.
You know the gym rat cliché, first at practice,
last to leave. He says he wants to give back
to the game & to the Corporation,”
That’s simply the beginning of this poem. The next two verses really put the nitty gritty life of a athlete into perspective, deservingly so.
The next section continues along the lines of the same theme, but in a different take. There’s a poem called “If Jesus Played Football” and a tribute poem to “Kobe.” Plus, there’s a wry poem on a clash between a couple of coaches called “The Altercation.”
From the poem “Yellow Card”:
“This first World Cup on the moon:
without incendiary incident until
that signal corner kick for Axis when
their striker clappered our goalie’s bell”
The last section “The Football Corporations” is more in line with what happens in the commercialism of the game, a fans perspective, and so on. It’s not what you’d expect probably when it comes to this field.
Heyen’s style cuts to the core. His lines are not afraid to make good calls, bad calls, the calls he feels necessary to get the thought across.
Many of these poems were previously published in an earlier collection entitled “The Football Corporations.” And quite a few appeared in magazines.
Heyen is the author / editor of more than 40 books. He is Professor of English/Poet in Residence Emeritus at the College at Brockport, his undergraduate alma mater.
These poems are raw, but connected. With Heyen’s poems, no syllable is wasted and each word is meaningful.
LB Sedlacek has also reviewed Heyen’s “Crop Circles.”
~LB Sedlacek is the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “This Space Available,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” “Happy Little Clouds,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her non-fiction books include “The Poet Protection Plan” and “Electric Melt: How to Write, Publish, Read Walt Whitman and Survive as a Writer and Poet). Her first poem novel is “The Blue Eyed Side” and her first short story collection is entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” Her mystery novel “The Glass River” was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. She writes poetry reviews for “The Poetry Market Ezine” www.thepoetrymarket.com You can find out more about her at @lbsedlacek on Instagram or @lbsedlacekpoet on Facebook or www.lbsedlacek.com