Review by Cheryl A. Townsend (email)
She innocently tells us "Why Robert Wagner Married Natalie Wood" with an impish humor. She bravely recalls the last dying days at her mother's side, hallucinated on morphine and brain cancer. In "The Thousand Bats of Tujunga Canyon," she shares a troubled and pregnant past with an alcoholic husband and her "high school blue-jeans, a / belly of baby to hang through the zipper" before finally leaving him "in the blue-jeans I'd soon zip all the way." That very "belly of baby" came early and lost and "in an alley beneath / a full moon and drizzling rain, an old man / who'd been digging for trashcan bottles watching" via a "one-eyed doctor" and healthy...but not, alas, fortunate. In "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" the daughter marries a "no-good coked-out son-in-law" and fights depression while seeking any job to pay the bills she can't meet while the father of her children is "back in jail for crack"...which segues into more craziness as he later "kidnaps their baby daughter to / sell for more dope." This collective rivals Frank McCourt's life as suicide attempts plague the daughter's tragic life. Joan sits at her hospital bed while
and prays. Evictions, past incest, Prozac, and yet more.
Cheryl A Townsend is a poet that used to publish Impetus magazine & own cat's Impetuous Books in Ohio, but now writes reviews and columns for epitome magazine. The only thing that hasn't change is the color of her hair.. and that's only thanks to L'oreal.
Note: Reviews may not necessarily reflect the opinions of RATTLE's editors and staff.