Solecism by Rosebud Ben-Oni

Solecism .



ISBN13: 9780944048504

ISBN10: 0944048501

Publisher: Virtual Artists Collective



Review by: g emil reutter


 Rosebud Ben-Oni has written of the world in her collection Solecism. It may or may not be a world you know but Ben-Oni knows it well and has lived it.  At Ten I Held the Look of Locust brings us to a playground surrounded by corporate greed.

I held the look of locust, black-sunken eyes and long, thin limbs
             so mothers of melting plastic and plywood
scrambled for sawdust from the mouths of razor-wild men.
               Bloody nails wrote the mornings after in pencil lead
I was unborn again, casting the look of locust, leather-rebellious nymph,
             Swarming in constant omission, twitching in sin.
Twenty years later, the factory is condemned, but the playground stands
                with a sign in English: Warning: Toxic waste, no playing. 
Ben-Oni notices the cracks in society and those that live in those cracks.  She has the ability to write of the everyday in solid imagery that places the reader in the poem.
Excerpt from Off the Q
Did I taste a toadstool
Sitting in a white-walled room
Off Lincoln and Ocean Avenue.
where the trains no longer keep me awake
passing by below, open and exposed,
the sharp sound of metal and voltage
like a grace note off a drum roll,
the snare head loose and low.
The blinds have never been gentle
with the dawn, the harsh glare
stabbing through like an evangelist
jumping up and down to move
millions. But when I needed hell-fire most,
in the late morning, especially on Shabbat
when I shouldn’t be writing at all,
The light fades to rubbish gray,
And the Q train shakes my solid desk,
The canopy bed—even the floors creak.
And an excerpt from After a Funeral in Jerusalem
Shiva is three nights at Haoman 17:
you climb the shoulders of an echis
commander, and claw
at the high ceiling. In the morning
you skid across the cafes of King Solomon.
In the light it is your face the young mourn.
Behind the cracked mirror of an old compact,
You throw your voice to order café hafuch,
for you stand too close to the edge.
Ben-Oni captures the images of events that surround her. Subtle yet not as subtle as in this stanza on Middle East violence from The Youth.
and then stooped off into the street.
No one called after him, after
                              pieces of him
                              out-of-camera shot
                              found their way into a stretcher,
                              Mourner’s Kaddish, some say.
                              opening his lips.
                              But for who?
No one thought to ask
Ben-Oni has a strong sense of place and of the places she has been.
From Over the River from Sal Si Puedes
girls grow slowly here
in graying eyelet dresses
under molted mocking birds
outside in rocking chairs
we mark time in losing it
even the eagle, a widow
shed from distant high winds,
has forgotten continuous flight
inseparable from the horizon
a promise has been broken
under junipers camphor lingers
the only pioneers, strangers
In Solecism, Rosebud Ben-Oni has marked time and place without losing it. She brings us to fractured places, but we depart with wholeness as Ben-Oni pastes them together.


You can buy the book at this link:


g emil reutter bw almost uptown poetry cartel 2 .

. -g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadlephia

2 responses to “Solecism by Rosebud Ben-Oni

  1. Pingback: Solecism by Rosebud Ben-Oni | Niche

  2. Pingback: Solecism by Rosebud Ben-Oni - NicheLitMagazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s