Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Sparkling Dirty Magic in the Winter Light"

Love Songs & Laments - Poems by Matt Reeck
Review by Missy McEwen

Love Songs & Laments by Matt Reeck is a chapbook. One of my favorite poems in this collection is Fantasy of the Day; it starts off tender and dreamlike, "I'd like to be with you where the river meets the/river..." and then turns real: "...when the winter sunlight/meets the river down from the sewage plant, where the sewage meets the river, pumped into the river..." This poem seems to be a love song and a lament. The river is filled with sewage, but it's "...sparkling dirty magic in the winter light." Matt Reeck makes dirty sound delightful.

Another favorite of mine is Some People and Jane. This poem is witty and catchy. If it were an actual love song, you would hear it on the radio station that plays Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan records:

"Some people have IQs of 180 and are featured in newspaper[s], but I don't read
them because I am kissing Jane..."
His poems have love song like titles -- Conversations Beneath The Moon-Filled Sky, for example. Before I read the poem I thought it was going to be about conversations with a lover beneath the moon. Wrong. This poem is made up of conversations. I don't know if one conversation is going on or many, but I wonder where Reeck was to hear talk like this:

"The queen was robbed by her soldiers"

"I swallowed the poison to
learn its secrets"

Matt Reeck's sixteen poems are well written. I enjoyed reading them and while reading the table of contents, I am reminded of another small book -- Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Even though the style of writing is different, the titles sound like something a songwriter would use: Ginsberg's In The Baggage Room at Greyhound and A Supermarket in California and Reeck's A Conversation on the Street Corner and Portrait of a Navigator could be part of Bob Dylan's catalog.

Published by GOSS183::CASA MENENDEZ (2008). For more information on where to purchase this book, stop by

1 comment:

Didi Menendez said...

Hi - If not too much trouble can you post this review up on amazon too please?