Zine Review: Homebody

Poetry zine, Boris Paillard, leftoversfromthefeast.blogspot.com, iamthekeys@gmail.com

My first thought with Boris Paillard’s poetry was, “Okay, these look like song lyrics.” Turns out 1 was right. Take this admission near the volume’s end: “And among the few things 1 can hold in my hand / Are leftover lyrics from a disbanded band.”

Paillard is the one-man band, The Keys, which isn’t exactly disbanded. He’s a singer-songwriter born and raised in France and active on the North American and European D1Y music circuits.

A common pitfall for the songwriter attempting to translate lyrics to poetry is being unable to hear their own words without the melody that lends them so much of their meaning. For the reader, lyrics stripped of their music can suffer from the tired predictability of simple rhyming couplets, left stale compared to their use in a performed song. This is occasionally the case in Homebody. Wideeyed, heartfelt ideas underlie Paillard’s words. But many of the poems are made up of bouncy, simplistic rhythms of lines conforming to standard rhyme: fourlined stanzas with rhymes on second and fourth lines.

Nevertheless, Paillard weaves warmhearted narratives, with a healthy dose of anti-corporate cynicism. He works in themes of loneliness, longing for he’snot-sure-what, and the working life of 21st century creativity. Peppered with digital and cut-and-paste collage, it’s at least an interesting compilation of work when connected with Paillard’s primary creative output as a songwriter and performer, but less so when standing alone. (Joshua Barton)

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