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Gina Bergamino

The New Press,
53-35 Hollis Court Blvd.,
Flushing, NY, 11365

24 pp., $3.00

Gina is a poet's poet, and she crafts her poems not around the survival instincts of poverty stricken writers, but rather around the poetry itself. She is a crafts-person, and these poems capture insightful touches that caress the words instead of smashing them into your face. In "5 a.m. dream" we get lines like: "the man/ with fat hands/ is breaking through/ the kitchen door/ & I squoosh/ his fingers/ squeeze them/ dig my nails/ into his" combined with: "my father calls/ a family meeting/he's unhappy/ that I want/ to be a writer". She rips thoughts out of the air, tosses them against other disjointed feelings, and leaves one disturbed with the kind of nightmares only a lover can wake you from. At the same time there is an innocence and observation that captures those "little things" in a brand new light. In "Unemployment Dream": "You're in the Sunvet mall/ with your brother trying/ to decide on strange flavors/ of icecream..." while "your father is buying lumber/ inside Rickles. Sweating, he/ pushes dolly...", then: "when he sees you he is happy/ and his eyes well up./ You want to give him/ ham & beans."--oberc

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #3,
Copyright Burning Press 1993, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press