Tooth & Shoe – by Heikki Huotari

by Heikki Huotari.  Simultaneously hyper organized and utterly chaotic, Tooth & Shoe asks us to take a second glance at the seeming normality of our daily lives.  Keeping with the American Surrealist tradition, Huotari’s leaps of semantic faith confront us with the bizarre nature of our time.  In this chapbook, Huotari’s lyrical prose poems oscillate between intense moments of scientific clarity and non sequitur absurdity – “If I own the microscope, the microscope has never bitten me or I have never seen the microscope before today I’ll say, my microscope won’t bite” – in order to isolate moments of oddity.  In this chapbook, Huotari reminds us that, while the world is comprised of an entirely entropic chaos just beneath our thin veneer of reality, “the universe is largely laughing matter.”

With a wink to tradition and a not to semantics, Heikki Huotari’s lively prose poems shatter our expectations of what can possibly occur within each small windowpane of language.  The work of these deft, musical pieces is to reinvent both the poem and prose itself, all while referencing a scientific theory or name-dropping Santa.  “Waldo, where am I?” one poem asks.  Lucky for us, over and over we find Huotari’s mesmerizing speaker world-reporting on the comically urgent, on the seriously absurd, always from this beautiful “designated remote protest zone” we can now hold in our hands.

 -Trey Moody

Tooth and Shoe is part of the Surrealist Poetry Series.  Books in this series can be purchased here.