Slow Phoenix By Michael Favala Goldman
What a pleasurable opening line: “Soft words crumble on the page.” The next lines to follow are: “commaclink / periodmumble / babbleclamor / the man’s giftgrumble.” This first poem lets the reader know this poetry collection might not be like any others you’ve read before and that’s a good thing.Amazon USA
By Michael Favala Goldman
Review by LB Sedlacek
Michael Favala Goldman opens his new poetry collection with the poem, “You ought to read Benny Anderson.” From the author: “Benny Anderson (1929-2018) is the all-time, best-selling poet
What a pleasurable opening line: “Soft words crumble on the page.” The next lines to follow are: “commaclink / periodmumble / babbleclamor / the man’s giftgrumble.” This first poem lets the reader know this poetry collection might not be like any others you’ve read before and that’s a good thing.
The author plows forth with interesting takes on airport terminals, exhaust fans and New Jersey. Then the next poem is about floss. Yes, floss!
A poet can write about anything and make it their own. This poet offers a completely original voice and it shows.
On the book’s dedication page, he dedicates the book to three poets, including Benny Anderson, who allowed him to translate their books of poetry. He states working on those translations helped him to find his own voice in poetry. I’ve always been a firm believer that reading poems by others helps you to write your own poems better! How can you be a poet and never read poetry is the other thing I say.
In the poem “News” these lines hit at the core: “we like the option / of skimming / selected world surfaces / over breakfast. How much news do you consume in a day, whether you want to or not. Those lines lay out the perfect way to consuming news (or life) as an option instead of a must.
From the poem “Water”: “The heart’s pericardium / membrane aches like hell if you stretch it / all the way to Chicago.” These poems have a haunting presence, surreal, and real all at the same time.
From the poem: “Ammonius”
“For ten years I have sat in this desert
sand between my toes
pitcher half full
days like dates
sweet and uniform”
These poems embrace the dynamic. There’s a certain eloquence to them.
This collection is divided into 5 parts. Most of the poems are free verse with some written in prose. There is a sparing use of language and technique.
These poems shift through powerful clever imagery. They are grounded, they are modern, they are fraught with emotion. All the things you want to read in poems. And, all the poems you want to read in a poetry collection.
~LB Sedlacek is the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars,” “Happy Little Clouds,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her first poem novel is “The Blue Eyed Side” and her first short story collection is entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” Her mystery novel “The Glass River” was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. She writes poetry reviews for “The Poetry Market Ezine” www.thepoetrymarket.com You can find out more about her at www.lbsedlacek.com