Interviewer vs. Interviewer

Interviewer vs. Interviewer
( Click on picture to view) Elizabeth Lund--Host of Poetic Lines interviews Host of Poet to Poet-- Doug Holder

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Aug 7: Jacques Fluery 5PM

Poetry Tyrant reviews The Haitian Firefly's collection
A review by Doug Holder, the founding publisher of The Ibettson Street Press

Sparks in the Dark: Lighter Shade Of Blue. A Poetic Memoir. Jacques Fleury. “The Haitian Firefly” $12. Contact:

Jacques Fleury writes that he was born with a humongous head. He reflects: “When my mom was birthing me, I was told that she ran out of the hospital just as I was coming out of the darkness of her womb, valiantly striving to reach the light. So just as I was coming out she made a giant leap for ‘pain kind’ out of bed and bolted out of the door and caught a cab home.”

Jacques Fleury

To this day Fleury has a dramatic head both physically and metaphorically. He often adorns it with large hats and outrageous sunglasses that he wears in the dead-of-night. He is an exotic even in Cambridge’s teeming and diverse Central Square. And so is his writing. His poetry is not sedate and understated, but much like a lush, colorful, exotic plume; at times gaudy and blinding, and for the most part joyful in spite of the pain he has suffered in his 30- something years.

Fleury was born in Haiti and is a working journalist, poet, columnist, and community TV host. His first full poetry collection: “Sparks in the Dark…” is large, ambitious, and covers a lot of ground.

It’s hard being a Blackman, much less a Haitian Blackman in a white society. Fleury rages against this inequity in his poem: “Unrequited Rage:”

“How dare you judge me/ my color does not define me/ you should be appalled for Dissing me! / unleash your dirty heart/ you will find me!... / I am only a mere man pregnant with error/ a walking Disaster!!!/ So use me like a mirror, / if you want to see the reflection of your Brother!!!/

And Fleury knows that the “womb makes the man,” and he urges mothers to treat their children well, or else it’s a short passage to a worldly hell, in his poem:

“Women! Women From Your Wombs!”

“Women! Women from your wombs/ you gonna yell to break the spell/ women! Women from your wombs/ you too one day/ face drooping dripping down in the dumps/ with creases like beaten down leather/ established breasts hardened, eager and perky/ like the buds of spring./ swollen like balloons since in your mouth men/ blow bubbles…/ since from your wombs babies are born/ bearing your sins/ and looked down as / fools for sucking in anger/and resentment seeping from/ your congested chests/ have come into this world/ entangled in your mess.”

Fleury’s work is provocative and evocative, but at times it needs pruning, because it grows like wild jungle vegetation. Of course that might be the point.

Doug Holder