Review – Aim For The Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry

Aim For The Head by Rob Sturma

I’m tentative with poetry. Although I like it, I’m always slightly worried that a new volume of poetry will be over my head. Being rather direct, I take an uninterested view of poetry that depends heavily on metaphor. I like being engaged by story and character and being so charmed by them that I can’t help but explore them, metaphors and all, after I’ve shut the book. I wasn’t so worried about that with Aim For The Head – rather, I was concerned that the offerings would be less poetic than simply silly: the theme is zombies, after all.

The online reviews indicated the contributors had all taken their writing for it seriously, if sometimes tongue-in-cheek (infer your own zombie joke there), so I purchased the book. And I’m not sorry I did.

There is silly in the book – a poem that consists entirely of the word ‘brains’, but even the silly has been rendered amusing by the poet’s wit and presentation; the silly poems are waggish, not sophomoric.

The viewpoints are varied: a woman who hopes her ex’s wedding turns out to be the Zombie Apocalypse, revenge of cheated-upon wives, survivor perspectives, and zombie perspectives. There are even a few that are not really about zombies at all, such as Steve Ramirez’s ‘Night of the Living’, and Matt Mason’s ’13 Ways of Looking at a Baby (and Please Note: This Poem Has Nothing To Do With Zombies)’. The weakest poem for me was Slappy Seasholtz’s ‘Zombie Standup’, but even that was able to set me wondering what Gary Shandling or Milton Berle would be like if they were zombies.

Admittedly, I am a zombie fan. I see the movies, although I tend to like zombies more in the abstract – as a possibility – than for any other reason. And I am a writer who reads poetry to improve my writing as well as because I enjoy it. So I suppose it might be more natural for me than for others to even consider picking up a book of poetry with zombies as a theme. But if you should happen to pick this one up for similar reasons, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

By Curtis X Meyer

The worst part about
the zombie apocalypse
won’t be the smell, nor
wondering if we’ll live, but
pretending it’s not awesome.

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