Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rodney DeCroo's second poetry collection, Next Door to the Butcher Shop, explores the permeability of memory and uncovers heart-wrenching beauty from shadowy grit.
How quickly age
descends on us. Our memories are maps
to places that don't exist. I was an emperor
on a green lawn wearing a white sheet
and a paper crown. The birds sang my praises
from the hedges and the trees
DeCroo unsentimentally recounts moments suffused with grief, longing and loss, and offers a refreshingly unfiltered view of one's self.
I'd stand for days along the edges of expressway
to sing off-key into the screams of semi-trailers and cars
until I stood within a cocoon of silence and flashing shadows
In a deft combination of lyrical and visceral imagery, Next Door to the Butcher Shop offers a rare, sharp, first-hand perspective of life around the edges, with dark comedy dispersed throughout.
Rodney DeCroo is a Vancouver-based singer/songwriter and poet. Born and raised in a small coal mining town just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he has called Vancouver home for years now. He has released a previous collection of poetry, Allegheny, BC(Nightwood, 2012) and seven music albums that have received critical acclaim in Canada, the USA and Europe. Music critics have named him one of Canada's best folk/alt-country songwriters. Next Door to the Butcher Shop is his latest collection of poetry.