258th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 258th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Julie Cameron Gray’s Tangle:

Application to the Art Deco Society of California (page 22)

Condensation drips off a cool glass of gin,
drops onto the perfect green lawn
of a summer afternoon,
with all the prettiest people playing
their best flappers and philosophers,
dressed up for cocktails.

Misplaced dancing shoes,
bootlegged booze; the moment
in sequined sheath
when I can no longer stand
the sound of his laugh.
The only solution is the Charleston
and more drinks.

The silver notes of band brass
and bass cling to air
and slowly give way to dusk --

champagne and stars soar drunk
in a pollen-flecked swimming pool.

What do you think?

Tangle by Julie Cameron Gray

Source: Tightrope Books
Paperback, 96 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Tangle by Julie Cameron Gray is a collection of poems that weave in and out of one another, exploring the twisted up relationships between family and between lovers.  These poems are a tangled web that must be read and re-read, read out of order, in order, at random.  The themes vacillate from obsession to the breaking free of obsession to find yet another.  Section two is witty and sad in its emphasis on the mundane working life of workaholics everywhere.  This hodgepodge of poems works to tangle and untangle the complexity of our lives and to point out the most mundane.

From "Never: Red Fable" (page 15)

Never for a mouth crushed with roses.
Never wolf, never red cape, have and having
to which I want to say, hoodless,
again and again and again, lick
the edges of red absence from your lips,
and you'll want twice,
and then--
gently if you can.
You will never be this red again.

Gray’s lines roll out and back in, onto themselves, creating lyrical puzzles that lull readers into a song … losing themselves in the mystery of her words.  Whether it is “Haiku for Penguins in a Box” that surprise the reader with its content or the illustrated nature of “The Commuter’s Elimination Dance” (a personal favorite of mine), Gray is imaginative and innovative in her poetry, pushing the envelope as far as it will go.  Sometimes, she even breaks free of that envelope to set her imagery free.

Tangle by Julie Cameron Gray explores the gap between human experiences and the understanding of those experiences, she tackles the relationships humans have to one another and to their own work lives, and she juxtaposes the wild lives of animals with that of urbanity.  While these poems are glorious in imagery and verse, they may be a little tougher for beginning readers to understand upon first reading.

Book 17 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.




34th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #247

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  November’s host is Rose City Reader.

Just a note to say that a poll about the hosting issue will be posted on the Mailbox Monday blog.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich from my mother.

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

2. Tangle by Julie Cameron Gray from Tightrope Books for review.

Teetering on the brink of longing and the downtrodden, Julie Cameron Gray’s poetic debut explores isolation and the distance between human understanding and human experience. Her poems showcase the relationship between people and their work, urban living and the fringe existence of “wild” animals, the flaws that relationships tend to encompass despite best intentions, and the mysteries inanimate objects hold. Tangle is a verdict, a web of dysfunction, and an alibi.

3.  Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan from Tightrope Books for review.

Beginning with an epigraph by Robert Graves, which asserts that “woman is muse or she is nothing,” the poems in Muse explore the concepts of influence, creativity, and gender by evoking the tragic figure of Elizabeth Siddal. As a model, then pupil, she married the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and although an artist and poet in her own right, Siddal is best known as a Victorian muse and the inspiration for her husband’s paintings. In sensual and evocative language, Dawn Marie Kresan shifts voices and perspectives, from Siddal’s loss and heartbreak over her stillborn daughter to the poet’s lighthearted reproach of artist William Holman Hunt’s depiction of the Lady of Shalott.

What did you receive?