Poetry Review: Empathy Eventually

Empathy Eventually

Wesley Dodson, 79 pgs, Post Occupation Press, postoccupation.com, $12

When done correctly, giving space to mere notions can be light, yet telling. Unfortunately, Wesley Dodson’s Empathy Eventually seems to be attempting to add depth to every little thought that has come into the poet’s head. Why do his readers need to know that a chair sitting far from a table is odd, or that “the colour of the glass is empty”? If these were recorded to help cultivate a richer image, maybe they would hold a little more weight; instead, entire pages are dedicated to 10-word inconsequential poems that hardly deserve the immortalization the printed word offers; there’s metaphorical, and then there’s just reaching.

To be fair, some of Dodson’s notions cast a romantic light on that insomnia and Ouija board heebie-jeebies you can’t shake. Brought together by a single clever word or twist, these diamonds in the rough spark the expansion of the author’s idea in each reader’s mind. Occasionally told from the point of view of someone pondering simple happenings from the comfort of their home, it is both haunting and refreshing to consider “the profound period of darkness between television ads.” However, I’d prefer to hear about this topic with Hitchcock’s direction, and James Stewart’s cool cameras. (Grace Bueler)