Review of Discarded: Poems for My Apartments
Doug Holder for The Somerville News
Parenteau is the founder of the online journal Spoonful, and host of the venerable Stone Soup Poets reading series in Cambridge. Parenteau has written an engaging and quirky collection Discarded: Poems For My Apartment. This book speaks to all of us denizens, past or present, of inner city apartments.
Parenteau, a long-time resident of South Boston and now Jamaica Plain, has been there and done that. You will recognize yourself in these ironic and humorous poems. In “Rat Poem,” the poet wonders if an unwanted roommate, a Norway rat, abruptly left his Southie apartment for an abode in the tony Back Bay environs of the city: “Maybe the rat left before that, had saved enough for a flower bed outside the Prudential Center where, after nights of waiting tables, I'd see other rats lounge openly, stare at them until they stared back like I was another tourist.”
Parenteau is the bard of the cold water flat, the one-room walkup, the gone-to-seed or always seedy neighborhoods in our neck of the 'hood.