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Images of Being Paperback – September 20, 2011
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spitting fiber into textile air, damaging lungs
already filled from a daily pack of Pall Mall.
The poem continues by expanding to the oxygen machine now needed as the damaged lungs lose their ability.
From living room bed to front door
walking, a burden for such a man
Sahms-Guarnieri openly addresses alcoholism. "Another Shirley Temple," tells a story of a man taking a young child to a bar.
and I sail to the top
of a red stool
bobbing like the cherry
in my sweet drink.
Pathos opens "Rest Stop," the account of a multi-generational family vacation taken by car.
Empty beer cans roll around her flip-flops
As unfinished sips splash her small toes.
Friendship is also explored. In the lengthy poem "Everyone Has Their Own Story," the author talks about and to a friend who attempts suicide and is hospitalized. We see how draining the friendship has become.
You said you were going to another place
to get the help you needed.
Two dollars to get you home, pack things
I wanted to tell you not to take Sexton/Plath
but I could not.
I was instantly transported back to my youth as I read "Bell Bottoms." The narrator is in a tiny shop trying on a pair of pants.
Hanging ten on floorboards
she swings and sweeps and sways
to Wipe Out-crashing sounds rolling
down out of a sun-bleached radio
surfing a shelf.
Carefully chosen words and well-crafted metaphors are Sahms-Guarnieri's hallmark. Her poetry is down-to-earth.