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Earl S. Braggs:

Anhinga Press
PO Box 10595
Tallahassee FL

59 pp., $8.00

These poems have a sense of rhythm and surprise that makes them ripe for reading out loud. They actively play with sound repetition (not structured into rhyme, though) and variations on familiar phrases. Both characteristics are evident in these lines from the title poem: "...I lean back and close my eyes// minutes before bedtime, storybook time, anytime/ is night time when you haven't seen the sky/ in over a year." Familiar phrases like "rose tinted glasses" and "give peace a chance" metamorphose as follows: "...laughing/ from too much red wine and the rose tinted lenses/ of a pair of John Lennon eyeglasses broken// because peace ain't never had a chance..." The cast of characters includes old people familiar to the speaker who give advice and have well-worn habits, as well as people who are new to him and full of mystery and danger. The poet rants with information and attitude about oppression, injustice, and pain. There's no denying the politics in this book, but to use that as a label would be to deny the wealth of music, imagery, and personality.--Mike Gill

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #4,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1995.

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