Most of the poems read as if the author had read the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters at some time in the past, because they bare the same resemblance to gravestone inscriptions, that tell a brief moment about an individual or providing witness to some event. The poems are all short, tight, discussions that often start with an address to a person and then ends with a sharp note of wisdom at the end. The hooks are in the tight start, the cliffhangers beat a drum, meaning they often have a real impact on the reader.
Was accused of murder
when she was just
and an example of encouragement:
SISTA GO GET IT
She didn’t know anything
other than being in the kitchen
but wasn’t intimidated
when she discovered that
she had the same power
to generate money in it
like her white counterparts
The situation of violence that I was aware of that disqualified me for the jury happened to a daughter of a coworker had stopped to help a man who stopped on the roadside in front of her. When the man came to my friend's daughter's window which she rolled down partially, he punched her in the face. Luckily, the daughter had pepper spray in her car and was able to get away. The police found he had pictures of her in his apartment, he’d followed her for some time.
So my long-winded set of examples is leading to a point, namely that poems don’t exist on their own. They feed from the world we live in, and feed back through the words to the community members, providing tales we can relate to and providing the music of verse to reinforce that things need to be different and can be different.
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Poems also connect to each other, forming a pattern and texture almost like cloth, that paints a picture that each instance can apply to more than one individual to create the sense that not just one person was wounded, we were all wounded.
My view of this collection of poems is that Eric Reese went beyond the Spoon River Collection that captured individuals in a graveyard, to capture the society of living and dead in our society. It connects and reconnects throughout, while being easy to read and understand.
In conclusion, this is one of the collections Eric Reese has written and has an opening dedication written by former President Obama. Eric Reese writes from his home in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see what moves him to write in the future.