This week on Goodreads.com, Superstition Review‘s Poetry Editor, Abner Porzio, reviewed two of his latest reads.
Or Consequence, by Cynthia Hogue.
Of utmost brilliance, Hogue’s collection of poems compels readers to journey forth and contemplate histories, causation, and unanswerable questions. Life’s grounding complexities and the boundaries of conscience are sewn together by the delicate and strong mindful poet. The mastery over focal points, techniques of blurring and redefining panoramas of place and time, string both universal and modern truths to the humanity that has been reconnected or what has been left naturally incomplete. Tragedies are shown as temporal, and yet, they are devastating events to be acknowledged collectively as part of the human experience. Pain is the human denominator. Suffering gets transmuted through hearable voices. Governing dynamics test the limits of the spirit when unanswerable histories and body experiences are questioned for their causation. Struggle for understanding exists in being stuck contemplating in-between past and present, causes and effects.
The poetry asks readers to be reminded of the constraint of the ‘element being’ grounded in a body. Hogue’s poems have exquisite profound gifts of sounds, which add elegant depths of resonance. Hogue’s sensitivity to how semantics and pragmatics choose the idiosyncratic communications simply honors natural languages as persistent and being capable of uncovering the inexistent. The acute articulation of linguistic expressions ranges beyond the comprised syntax with powerful erasures and silencing strikethroughs. Genius at metaphor, actions are of most significance.
Some lines that I enjoyed:
“I go in circles circles circles/ the first says, though I wish/ to cut the water like wings slice air.”
“Who can say no to such mayhem?”
“Looking could not make meaning.”
Some Nights No Cars at All, by Josh Rathkamp.
An immediate must read. Rathkamp’s collection of poems travel the mind inward to the perplex phenomenon of the familiar place, while travelling alongside each of the speakers’ trusty precise observances. These locations are where mere destinations only get furthered for the better; for they allow readers to arrive at their own active insightfulness and rediscoveries. Over and over again, his invaluable poetics carry each read to real heights of ambivalence. Truths, majestic assumptions, and understandings of what it means to be human are of interest. Physical and emotional manifestations of human imperfections have literal transparencies. The absence, loss, and the theme of emptiness countered the implications of the refilling notions of transient place.
Rathkamp’s verses are saturated with specific visual details. These inquiries of the present, past, and future moments, which are grounded in place, show ambivalence in all its nuances. All the ambiguities of separation, the humanistic postured reinterpretation of ambivalence explore the thought processes of being caught between making it work and giving up on the union. Struggle coincides with the flutter of melding conclusions, which hold the blueprints of these possibilities for an anxiety-free existence intact. Holistically, the poetic viewpoint renders points of transpiration life before these moments further change.
Some lines that I enjoyed:
“And again I am finding ways/ to clean the mess I made,/ rationalizing their nest to fallen twigs/ wound with mud and fishing line,/ the simple possibility of making another.”
“We were what we wanted.”
“We grew into speaking without words.”
“Sometimes what we think is soaring is actually/ a hell of a lot of work.”