With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge takes a look at not only what it means to be young and full of dreams, aspirations, and confidence, but also the flip side of that — what it means to be older and confined by societal, professional, and personal constraints. Her verse is topsy turvey with its own underground beat that shimmies out the fine-tuned truth that whether or not we are rock gods or ordinary people we are the same in how we are shaped and how we shape the world around us. From hiding our wrinkles and our broken dreams to wearing them proudly, LaForge has crafted an unapologetic anthem about living, not merely surviving the world around us.
From "Prodigy": It is youth that keeps you pale and concerned about the smaller buzzing parts, the soil and the pine cones there, and the grace between fists and teacups. You are a foil, a reminiscence, a sobering glance forward because nothing can be repeated, metric by metric; speaking the dream always changes it irreparably, as if it weren't worth mentioning.
From "Apollo at 21st and 8th": record we shed each day, the accumulation of our pasts that we deposit upon wood and polish, in the shafts and patterns of directed sunlight. Could gods begin in dust and spit not as we have,
The collection is divided into two parts, and the first section, despite the title of the Mick Jagger poem, are hardly apologetic. From the crass way that age takes over the face to the abandonment of religion and faith in favor of the present and those rock stars before us on the television, LaForge chooses terse language clipped in the right places to give readers enough pause to encourage serious contemplation about aging and worship of the present. In “Runyon Canyon,” her narrator says, “It is not the soul that grows/in your bone, but a whistle;/as if a palpable friction between/lip and reed; a green-sweet taste/like hesitation and sympathy;” These images blend together to create a sound that hums.
In the second half of the collection, the poems are more personal, delving into the sorrowful images of disease and how the body can be ravaged even when the patient is in denial or at least trying to pretend they are not ill. LaForge takes a frank look at the grotesque found in the most beautiful relationships, including being sisters. With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge strikes a pose and has an opinion without apology, and don’t expect one. The statements are bold and without explanation. They just are.
About the Poet:
Jane Rosenberg LaForge’s poetry, fiction, critical and personal essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Ottawa Arts Review, Boston Literary Magazine, THRUSH, Ne’er-Do-Well Literary Magazine, and The Western Journal of Black Studies.
This is the 23rd book for my 2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.
This is my 82nd book for the New Authors Reading Challenge in 2012.