Tag Archives: aldrich press

Tending by Laura Grace Weldon

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Aldrich Press (November 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615913423
ISBN-13: 978-0615913421
Reviewed by: g emil reutter 
Laura Grace Weldon has a gentle brutal voice in this exceptional collection of poems. It is reflected in the opening stanza and closing two stanzas of Ruminating, a poem about the family cow.
Animals are incapable
of higher thought and emotions
or so I was taught
She moves to the last two stanzas, the gentle Isabelle is observing the farm family as she relaxes in the pasture along the fence line, ruminating….
Isabelle regards us
from the nearby fence line
her soft lips moving
as she chews, ruminating.
Our breath hangs in the cold air
smelling of her son
roasted with onion, herbs, wine
In Santa Clara County V. Southern Pacific Railroad, Weldon reflects wealth traveling through rural poverty with images that pop from the page:
The day a car uncoupled,
spilling frozen beef,
armed guards arrived to destroy the cargo
but hungry people pushed onto the tracks
They bent gladly all the way home
Bearing suppers heavy promise.
Torn hillside nearly empty, still
those who know what it is to be broken
stand on crushed grass
staring at tracks
leading away from here.
The poem, Making it Work, concerning domestic strife, the wife is surrounded…
Where everything is beige and brown framed in flowered wall paper.
In these poems Weldon creates images that reflect not only the beauty of rural American life but of the brutal reality that it truly is.
g emil reutter 2-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

With Apologies To Mick Jagger, Other Gods, And All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge


Paperback: 72 pages

Publisher: Aldrich Press (August 27, 2012)

ISBN-10: 0615677002

ISBN-13: 978-0615677002

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.

g emil reutter  is a Philadelphia Poet