(For a review of the same book by Mike Amado, click here)
Metaphors, often absurd and surreal populate most of the poems in Aaron Fagan's debut book of poetry, Garage.
There are a lot of word games--some are fun, others are either borderline smart-ass in an annoying way, or 'so what' poems that I can't work up much enthusiasm for. A few of them feel like the kind of work turned in by a graduate student trying too hard to impress the professor with literary references.
The poem builds with a series of impressions and snippets of thoughts and ideas and then it is re-molded as lines are repeated juxtaposed against different ones. It is an exciting, somewhat arrogant poem.
My favorite poem from the collection is probably the one called "Private Number Calling". It's one of those poems I categorize as deceptively simple. It reads easily but I was compelled to read through it again and enjoy how it captured a wonderful little life moment vividly...
The poet says too little, forcing us to work up a larger story for ourselves for an experience described impressionistically. It ends the poem by abruptly letting a brand new character enter the poem. Somehow it worked for me.
The next four lines don't quite measure up:
And there are five more lines to go that dilute rather than add to these lines.
There are poems that should make you chuckle with lines like:
And we get poems with inspiring lines like
There are three or four excellent poems, several good pieces with lines that really got my attention and enough fearlessness on display in Garage that poets interested in new modern work should take a look at it.
Christopher J. Jarmick is an author, poet and fee based financial advisor now living in Seattle. He is President of PEN - Washington; former executive Vice President of the Washington Poets Association. He curates and hosts two poetry venues that feature published poets and open mics, because one without the other would kill the flowers in the garden. The novel he co-wrote in 200, The Glass Cocoon, is still in print. His poetry has been published in several magazines, newspapers, literary journals, online and in anthologies like Mute Note Earthward; Between Sleeps; and others.
Note: Reviews may not necessarily reflect the opinions of RATTLE's editors and staff.