With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

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.

171st Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 171st Virtual Poetry Circle!

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Jane Rosenberg LaForge’s With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women:

With Apologies to Dylan Thomas (page 34)

My funeral swoon was in my
ribs the first time you died:
my supple fix, my lonesome
ambition; and within that
harness of rigor and skin,
I felt at that moment a reed
and its fingers chose to seek
out their height and freedom.
Had they reached my mouth
from the oppression of my heart,
lungs and esophagus, the dewy
and rude things they might
have said: I am through waiting,
I should be celebrating, I
should have shaved my head,
but I lacked the courage.  I
have always been a spectator.
I am essentially a disbelieving
person.  After the first death,
the poet said, the others become
academic, and the shocks my body
now contains are stupendous.

What do you think?

Mailbox Monday #194

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is BookNAround.

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 from the library sale a couple weekends ago:

1.  Chosen by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

2.  Haunted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, which I already had and didn’t realize, so I’ll be re-donating it to the library for them to sell again!

3.  Untamed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

4.  Burned by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

5.  Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast; I still need the second book, Betrayed.

6.  Undercover by Beth Kephart, which is my favorite of her books and one I had borrowed from the library but did not own; Thanks, Anna for finding it.

7.  Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow

8.  A Working Girl Can’t Win by Deborah Garrison

9.  The Poems of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, translated by Eugene M. Kayden

Review books that have arrived:

10.  Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, which came unsolicited from Penguin.

11.  Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson for a TLC Book Tour in October.

12. The Boys of ’67 by Dr. Andrew Wiest for review.

13. One Last Strike by Tony La Russa, which came unexpectedly and will likely be passed onto someone who would love to read it.

14. The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong, which came unexpectedly from WunderkindPR and will likely also find a new home.

15. With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge for review.

What did you receive?