Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (03/10)
“Venison” is the most interesting book of poetry that I have ever had the chance to read. Thank God! Because the typical flowery, love poems do nothing to pique my interest. James Mirarchi certainly knows how to use words to capture my attention. While each piece of work stands alone and has its own theme; they are all written in vivid detail with unique wording that made me stop and focus on what I was reading so that I could get the true meaning. In doing so, each piece of poetry is brought to life. The life that they are brought into is not a pretty one. The poems are gritty and focus on our imperfect world through the eyes of someone who notices everything down to the minute details.
My favorite piece is titled “Vending Machine.” It is about a vending machine that compares itself to the prostitutes at work outside of the porn theater it is located in. The machine notes the similarities between its own job and the jobs of the working ladies. In the end, it discovers that in spite of the similarities, it has the better job. While this might sound very strange, because vending machines are not known to be capable of thought, it was still really interesting to read about something that comes from such a unique perspective. “The Pig Stall” was also another interesting one. It tells the tale of a transvestite who is harshly mistreated by men who are so twisted; they have no right to be judging anybody.
“Venison” by James Mirarchi consists of twenty-one pieces of unusual and sometimes outrageous poems. Mirarchi’s work is unique, unsettling, quirky and interesting. While normally I would recommend a book of poetry to people who enjoy poetry, I believe that this book will be enjoyed by all, especially the people who don’t typically enjoy it.