Twenty-seven of the thirty-five books finished this year are poetry and comics which explains how the numbers are already half of last year's. Of course, all those books added together don't match the word count of the pages read in Don Quixote last year.
Which I still haven't finished....
035) Under Brushstrokes by Hedy Habra, finished February 24
1. Having such a large percentage of a book be ekphrastic ain't great, frankly. Just a list of paintings at the end (the end!) is way too much work for me, the casual reader. This should have been a coffeetabler....
2. Anyone looking for evidence of poetry in prose poems should check this book out. Lots of examples of high overall quality.
034) Rapture by Sjohnna McCray, finished February 20
The final poem in the collection is multipart and eponymous and helps take the speaker from childhood to adult. We see him explore sex and the gay scene etc etc and find his own grounding as a man in meaningful relationships with other men.
My favorite part of the book comes in the final section of this final poem. Specifically, the underlined parts:
This captures something true about sex that I've never articulated to myself before, and I appreciate the insight.
033) The Destroyer in the Glass by Noah Warren, finished February 19
The best poems came in two types: long meandering personal histories, poems about specific and unexpected objects.
The best of the latter was probably "Automatic Pool Cleaner." This poem brilliantly and evocatively explores the cleaner and lets it become a metaphor on its own terms. And then it feels the need to explain it by getting obscure. It's a cheap trick and not an easy one to do well. Warren, I'm afraid, doesn't do it so well.
But he's young and although the collection has few very good poems, very good lines are scattered througout.