The Plumber's Apprentice (Paperback)

By Joe Weil

NYQ Books, 9781935520108, 104pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2009



The Plumber's Apprentice differs from Weil's previous work in that it charts the nature of suffering beyond the limits of his working class -Elizabeth- and focuses more deeply on two aspects of his life: his Irish Catholic sense of communion, with the living and the dead (all who have gone forth marked with the sign of faith), and the essential solitude of being a single, short, bald man who has no offspring, no legacy, no beloved, and is falling, however slowly, to his death. Perhaps the question Weil asks most frequently is: given the inevitable co-ordinates of ongoing failure, how does a poet give the middle finger to grade z forms of Emersonian positivism and have some fun in this vale of tears? In sum: if love is impossible, and life severely limited, and loneliness is devouring the furniture, where's the closest bar, and do they have a good jukebox? For brief moments Weil succeeds in making failure, death and love his drinking buddies. In the poet's messed up ontology, they make for a lively and comical crew.