Publisher: lulu.com (October 15, 2013)
Doug Holder is a poet of place and family with a keen eye to a time that has passed. A sense of loss is contained in the words of this chapbook, Holder’s loss and the loss of places and time current generations will never know. Of beat tables, cracked cups, mustard sandwiches as in the poem Eating Grief at Bickford’s.
There are no places anymore
Where I can sit at a threadbare table
Pick at the crumbs on my plate . . .
The old men
Who used to spout
The cracked porcelain of their cups
The boiling water
The mustard sandwich
These used to relish
In one simple stanza Holder captures the façade of the 1950’s family, the perfect family that never really existed but on television, the all-knowing father and submissive mother. The poem Father knows Best-Mother Does the Rest.
The bland tyranny
of the cardigan sweater.
creased in brutal condescension.
Holder writes of his own father in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, of how Holder is haunted by the image of his father’s loss of the normal use of his left hand.
I thought of my father
As he gripped
His left hand
Prying it open with his right
A hand curling
Into a callused fetus
Holding on to
For dear life.
Eating Grief at 3:00 a.m. is just 36 pages of poetry. Yet Holder packs this slim volume with images that will stay with you for some time. In Abandoned Warehouses he writes,
Sometimes you must follow
The rat’s path
The scrawled invective of the graffiti
You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Grief-at-3-A-M/dp/1304528995
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA). You can find him at : http://gereutter.wordpress.com/