Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: Aldrich Press (August 27, 2012)
Review by: g emil reutter
In this collection LaForge brings us into a world of textured darkness and light. Character poems of youth, aging and social issues flow through this collection. She writes in a narrative form in tightly constructed poems, never wasting a line or a word. This poet’s work reflects the world she lives in and the alternative world she views.
LaForge always the cynic in this work writes of her father’s perfect teeth how much like her grandmother’s they are although her grandmother had false teeth and how this led to her own perfected teeth when he purchased braces for her.
In Grief in the Catskills she writes, “I am sealed in my experiences and my tattooed humiliations. Whatever else is left is a sick, curdling seed she would have spread into roots; fingers and flickering needs that would garrote my organs, my esophagus, all the places where twigs and stems might have their next spring, the principles of testimony.”
She leads us into Hemingway’s Rot: “For a discussion on Hemingway, a man brought two defused rifles into our classroom, and demonstrated how one might use them, produce that pidgin effect.” And with a nod to Hemingway she writes of bookend elephants her grandfather brought home from the war, to which she quickly disembowels them. She takes us out in the last line of the poem, “I only know that these elephants are gone now, lost, while my grandfather’s military papers and a few of his medals survive.”
This collection is on the dark side yet the pulse of life radiates in each poem, beating with a memory of a life lived and a life full of observation. Give With Apologies To Mick Jagger, Other Gods, And All Women a read. The subject matter just may be familiar and stir some memories of your own.