A Review of The Blood of a Tourist by William Taylor Jr.

Review by James H Duncan

William Taylor Jr. is writing from the place I want to be. In The Blood of a Tourist, Mr. Taylor is constructing an idyllic world of “little rooms with little windows looking out upon the rain,” or lounging along the sidewalks of 1935 Paris, glass of wine in hand, words in heart, soon to be on the page. These are the poems of a wistful writer displaying an easy smoothness, a poet who isn’t trying so damn hard to be a poet. 9A trait hard to find in the poetry world.) The poems ease the reader from line to line, page to page. They’re immensely readable while retaining the ability to transport and assimilate the writer’s visions with the reader’s dreams, back and forth, the poems making us the same.

As I said, these are poems written from a place I want to be and written about themes I can connect with, the quiet terror of having to live a life unwelcomed, one in which we hide the pain of existence inside and ignore it while basking in the glow of singing shows on TV and reheated dinners for lunch in the office’s filthy microwave, a nearly inescapable fate. But we artists do dream of this escape, and some of us get there. These poems feel like proof of that possibility, like witnessing someone dodge a sniper’s bullet.

And yet, as his poem “On An Afternoon While Waiting On Rain” suggests, “the roads before us endless / the destinations all the same.” We’re just tourists in this life, beautiful or harrowing as it may be, and at some point we all end up going home, to the same home, for good. In the meanwhile, the least we can do is read poems like these, especially if collected in such a gorgeously bound book. The publisher, Sunnyoutside Press, deserves massive kudos for putting together this little number—the art, the layout, the texture of the thing, it’s all a wonderful gesture in support of a very deserving and talented writer. Look for this book from William Taylor Jr., which should arrive in early November, 2014. This literary hobo highly recommends it.


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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!