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Lovesick Paperback – August 28, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: The Poetry Press (August 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978904168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978904166
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,428,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Howie Good turns words into a reciprocating saw that can be worked through your gut. He has internalized the existential horror of existence and turned it outward. In the pages of Lovesick, Good alternates between the scalpel and the three pound hammer. He slices and smashes. These poems deal with terror, love, pain, loss, regret, politics; in short, all of the terrible things that life has to offer.

Good is, I believe, a journalist. This may account for part of his style. While his work is lyrical and lovely, it also has a cold mater of fact tendency. He writes about life in a way that takes for granted that this is all terrible. As he puts it in one poem "life is a rifle butt to the face". Nothing could be more descriptive of existence, and yet noting could be more simple. It is precisely this easy turn of phrase that marks these poems.

These poems also have a knack for interesting constructions. In one instance he refers to the "extruded plastic moon". This is a blue collar phraseology that should appeal to a rather masculine audience. Such references are antithetical to the common feminine tendency of most modern poets. These are manly poems, and yet they are soft; filled with longing and regret and loss. That dichotomy is much of the power of Good's writing. He strikes a difficult balance between traditional tropes and modes and something wholly modern. I may be straying from the point, though.

Another important aspect of these poems is the often oblique allusion. Good never specifically mentions the holocaust, or South American death squads, or the mother's of the disappeared; yet they are there for full view. In these pages are all of the horrors of the twentieth century, discarded and used up.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I had the words of the author to help in writing this review. All I can say is that Howard Good juxtaposes darkness and brutality with the fragility and beauty of Life, both in the catastrophic and mundane, with seeming effortlessness. I am not generally seduced by poetry but Lovesick is just that -- seductive.
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