Bodies by Osmond Arnesto
The first printed collection of the author’s poetry and prose. Also featured is a short story on the joys of accounting. For the lonely, the lost, and everyone who has ever known the feeling.
I met Osmond in a few of my writing classes at UCSD. He always impressed me with his comic and heartfelt way of dealing with deeply icky, deeply uncomfortable, and deeply taboo subjects. A mix of theatre actor, stand-up comic, and all-around nice guy, his writing sparkles with that unique something you sadly can’t bottle and sell.
Recently, Osmond self-published his very first work, a collection of poems and short stories. I was delighted to see the short story included as one that had been work shopped in one of my classes.
His poetic voice and style is very well established; his unique way of putting poems together reminds me perhaps of what it might have been like to read a young William Carlos Williams or Juliana Spahr. If you’ve never read those two poets, I highly recommend checking them out.
At 54 pages, my main complaint with this collection was that there wasn’t more. I admire Osmond’s ability to attack difficult subjects and break them into something comedic, however squeamish, while displaying impeccable talent, poise, and extreme breadth of knowledge. There are easter eggs scattered throughout his work for the careful reader, some of them denoted with foot notes. While the ease of movement of the work suggests a hasty dash-off, bearing that beautiful fluidity of stream-of-consciousness, further examination reveals how meticulously every line and sentence have been constructed.
Osmond is off to teach English in Japan for a year, which I’m sure will prompt many more hilariously wonderful poems and stories that I for one can’t wait to read.
His book is available through Amazon or as an e-book through Lulu’s.