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Redneck Poems

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20 pages, Paperback

First published October 2, 2010

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About the author

Rusty Barnes

45 books206 followers
Rusty Barnes is a 2018 Derringer finalist and author of the story collections Breaking it Down (Sunnyoutside Press 2007) , Mostly Redneck (Sunnyoutside Press 2011), and Kraj The Enforcer: Stories (Shotgun Honey 2019), as well as four novels, Reckoning (Sunnyoutside Press, 2014), Ridgerunner (Shotgun Honey/Down & Out Books, 2017), Knuckledragger (Shotgun Honey/Down & Out Books 2017) and The Last Danger (Shotgun Honey/Down & Out Books 2018), His fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, like Dirty Boulevard: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of Lou Reed (Down & Out Books 2018), Best Small Fictions 2015, Mystery Tribune, Goliad Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Red Rock Review, Porter Gulch Review and Post Road. His poetry collections include On Broad Sound (Nixes Mates Press, 2016) and Jesus in the Ghost Room, (Nixes Mates Press 2017). He founded and edits Tough, a journal of crime fiction and occasional reviews. Find him on Twitter @rustybarnes23

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for John.
29 reviews6 followers
October 6, 2010
When you sit down to read a book titled, 'Redneck Poems,' you sort of expect the pieces to be full of pickup trucks, beer drinking, backyard fucking, and a few yee-haws. Well there are no yee-haws in Mr. Barnes' collection but there is a truck, a couple of beers, and some serious backyard fucking. The thing is, these poems are not about trucks or beer or fucking; they're about the ways that people interact with each other, the things they do right and the things they do wrong, and the consequences. They're about things that happen and what we're left with. They're lush with imagery and full of place. They're thematically subtle; there is no beating you over the head, only a gentle, or in the case of 'Rebellion of the Flesh' not so gentle, kick in the gut.

'Summer, Shelling Peas,' is probably my favorite, and it takes a moment in time, stops it and lays it open for us to feel.

'High School Chick Fight.' is great in a different kind of way, taking us to the edge of lust and peril.

'Redneck Poems' in the end has nothing to do with being redneck, and everything to do with being human.
Profile Image for Mia Tryst.
124 reviews9 followers
October 3, 2010
I loved it. I mean, I didn't want to put it down and could have read another ten pages or more. Rusty Barnes certainly got my attention. Like he's the real deal and yet, can't help seeing the poet peeking out every once in a while; he has that strange, beautiful way of spinning out a homespun narrative in a down to earth way, but be careful of that carefully meted metaphor that sneaks in there and hits you over the head. Like wham! What happened? Like an epiphany out of nowhere but you get it, you just really get it. I can't provide a sample poem here coz I'm too tired and lazy to type out an entire poem. So y'all gonna have to purchase your own copy. Lovers of poetry, you won't be disappointed.
659 reviews3 followers
October 9, 2010
The main complaint I have on Rusty's books are, they're too dang short. I said this about Breaking it Down, I'm saying it again about Redneck Poems. Mr. Barnes writes folks well, has a spooky ability to get into the skin of any character, man, woman, child, and write them with vivid realism. Be warned, these are not always happy people, but the grit and resolve in which they plow through life in these poems is so inspiring you don't care whether or not they're happy. In fact, you kinda hope they keep on falling on hard times, again and again, so Rusty will keep writing about them.

Rusty Barnes is the kind of writer I hope to be some day. I would read soup labels if he wrote them.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 12 books5 followers
October 3, 2010
With a voice so original in every poem, from beginning to end ("Tony little girls in slim skirts/never really appealed; give/me bluegals with high-stockings and lovely round thighs/at two ayem in a stripmall/parking lot...Yeah, boy"), Rusty Barnes' "Redneck Poems" is one of those poetry books I can read all the way through, over and over again.
Profile Image for Mark Staniforth.
Author 4 books22 followers
October 17, 2010
I'm not much into poetry as a rule, but this is just great. I especially loved 'Ode To ____'. A bunch of tight little tales that are just as likely to tug your heart-strings as to make you hurl. Bad and sad and stunningly evocative of a time and place. I wish this guy would write a novel. Failing that, just more stuff like this.
Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 9 books6 followers
October 3, 2010
I knew from the title that this would be a good read-- I just didn't realize how good! Good, well-written poems from beginning to end! I love it!

Also note the author's name-- it just seems to fit.
125 reviews18 followers
October 3, 2010
Rusty, you had me at "a paradiddle of skunks" - and it just got better and better from there.

The poems are simultaneously funny and disturbing - and always thought-provoking.

Will these be "printed?" If so, put me on your buyers list.
Profile Image for Tara.
Author 22 books543 followers
November 8, 2010
I've enjoyed Barnes's prose for some years now, but had no idea he was a poet as well. Now I know why I enjoy his prose--he has the heart of a poet. Besides being a perceptive writer, he has a gift in capturing youth and love in all its urgent, sloppy, dangerous, touching ways.
1 review2 followers
October 4, 2010
Great stuff on a living life level. Interesting descriptions and word choices on a down home theme. Makes poetry readable... Ha!
Profile Image for Ben.
Author 37 books243 followers
January 7, 2011
These poems are a celebration, and recognition, of an identity under appreciated and under represented across the indie and literary world, that of rural, even redneck lives.
Profile Image for Charles White.
Author 12 books199 followers
March 17, 2011
"High School Chick Fight" and "The Ex-Boyfriend Checks in by Cell Phone" are my favorites, but they're all damn good poems.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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