Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chapbook Review by Richard L. Powell: HEAVENLY BODIES (Poets Wear Prada, 2008)

Chapbook Review
by Richard L. Powell

Poems by Richard Marx Weinraub

ISBN 978-0-9817678-4-0, Soft Cover, 19 pp., $10.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)
Poets Wear Prada, 2008

Heavenly Bodies, by Richard Marx Weinraub, is a chapbook of twelve poems published by Poets Wear Prada. This small collection of intriguing selections will peak the interest of those beginning as well as seasoned poets who are esoterically inclined. Each is a delightful illumination embedded in classical mythology as well as those inspired by the events of ordinary living. Within each poem nothing is taken for granted. Every word earned its reason for being placed.

This inventive collection is woven into a tapestry of mythological personages remembered. Words and ideas mix, causing subtle and blatant sexual tensions to explode across the pages charting new galactic paths for those curious enough to explore fanciful connections to other realms. Double entendres dotted here and there combine to entice the knower and confound the uninitiated to enter secret spaces by invitation only. Two of my favorites are “Sappho/James Merrill” and “Venus De Milo.”

Readers will enjoy the respectful homage to the poet James Merrill. This poem conjures up the old-fashioned drawing room where a gentleman caller would engage his pursuit. In this case however, it was that of an old man smelling of fruit and fingering a Ouija board who invites his visitor to sit on grandma’s love seat.

Venus De Milo at the age of consent in my living room – what should I do? Personification transformed into flesh with no past or future – just here and now. As the poet presents her, my choice is to make her my literary love slave – naturally. Internet not needed.

This small collection of gems is a quick read that leaves you pondering the meaning and connection of words. Poems written at particular moments in life cause the reader to pause retrospectively, reliving life in twelve pieces. Those who enjoy edgy situations will find some comfort here. Those who relish the brevity of wit will be delighted. This poetic grouping makes you understand why we are seduced by the words of a poet. I highly recommend Heavenly Bodies.

Richard L. Powell is an emerging playwright and poet interested in exploring a variety of writing genres and styles. He's written two plays, "Kiss" and "Congo Square." He's in the process of writing his third play, "Sand Dunes." Poetically, the exploration of Haiku has captured his attention. Contact him at rpowell548 at aol dot com.

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