I LOVE YOUR POEM!: Martin Dadisman on Joshua Robinson’s “Working Title” and “Don’t Look”

This is part of the “I LOVE YOUR POEM!” series, in which people submit on behalf of local poets whose work they admire and write about why they do. The idea is not only to highlight great work, especially from those who may not submit the work themselves, but also to create a big gushy lovefest in the community. If you’re interested in submitting on behalf of a local poet you love you can check out the submission guidelines here

I first heard Joshua read at an open mic that no longer is, back in the day. Pre-pandemic. I think we’re all calling it ‘the before times’ now. Joshua read a piece titled “Millennial-ism,” and I was blown away. The line “we eat forbidden fruit for breakfast” got me, and I sat up and paid attention. It’s a longer piece, and I’ve heard Joshua read it a few times now, and I hear something different each time; it’s wonderful.

I wish I had more bio information for you, but we’re still getting to know each other. We share cigarettes in the alley behind the Trident and check in with each other. I know Joshua has a day job, but I get to feeling their art comes first. In our conversations I’ve learned they’ve overcome quite a few life obstacles. Many of these challenges are hinted at in their poetry and writings. It takes a lot of strength to be vulnerable. I’m grateful Joshua chooses to write, and share their observations and vulnerabilities, giving me comfort in the knowledge that we’re not alone, or “I’m not the only one that’s felt this way.” I suppose that’s the reason we make art.

Joshua and I meet along with a few other artist, poets, and pilgrims on Sunday mornings to write, edit, and inspire each other. Along with contributing to the group, this kid will bang out new poems before we’ve finished our first coffee and croissant. Here’s two of them…

Doc Martin is an enigma. Part 18th century Scottish Jacobite, 1950s beatnik poet, and 2020s all-around eccentric, this bohemian time traveler is the guy you didn’t know you needed. He’s sweet, he’s loyal and if you get too close, you’ll stick. A rectal impressionist, and an illiterate poet. A proud Luddite, enjoying the fall of western civilization. All the while hummin the Gen-X anthem “Never mind… whatever.”

Joshua Robinson received degrees in Playwriting and Poetry from, University of Missouri; they also completed a Master’s of Arts Management at Columbia College Chicago. They have performed nationally and locally, both theatrically, poetically and somewhere in between. Their work has been featured or is forthcoming in The Maneater, The Vail Mountaineer, Newcity, Life and Literature in Performance, Mizzou New Play Festival, The Edge Theatre, CommuterLit, microstory.me, Hemingway’s Playpen, Spit Poet Zine and more. Joshua’s first book of poetry “This Way to Exit, Millennialism, and New Poems.” is available online, at Mutiny Information Café, at Trident Café and Booksellers, and personally from the author.