Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What One Poet Said About "The Fractured World"

I received a wonderful note from fellow poet, Lynn Ciesielski, about "The Fractured World." I had to share it somewhere, so here it is:

Dear Scott:

I finally took the time to order a copy of your collection and I was very glad that I did. The Fractured World is extremely riveting, poignant, at times humorous and always well-written. I ended up reading it cover to cover while I waited at a mechanic's garage where my husband sometimes works on race cars. This says a lot because there was a lot of noise there and normally I can't concentrate with any distractions. However, I was completely focused throughout the text.

The first section provided a good lead-in to the second and third which I found more disturbing. "The Liberation of Breakfast" was very comical and slant. "The Writing On The Wall" was also quite humorous but in a different way. It seems everyone must have found some very interesting reading material on bathroom walls. "Make Believe" is sad but at the same time reassuring. At least the subject has an out with the ability to write.

Just about all the poems in Suite Norman are extremely heart-wrenching. I felt so much empathy for Norman's family and Norman as well, for he too suffers immensely throughout his inward torture and his own history of abuse. It is tempting to simply hate him, but you frame him in such a sensitive way that I want to understand his motivations. Case in point, you immediately begin the section with "Norman's Storm Fear," illustrating how he is riddled with insecurities, however insignificant. "Norman Learns Not To Cry" continues with Norman's learning early to squelch his emotions. I like the way you continue through his boyhood and courting years, then move into his experiences with his own wife and children. Norman never seems quite happy as illustrated in "Norman Everyday". His own disgust with himself and his life comes to a culmination in "Norman In The Window, His Eyes Like Shattered Glass". By this point, he is drawing others deeply and tragically into his drama. "Inventory" is extremely grotesque and sound as if Norman has some socio-pathic tendencies. "Remote" seems to confirm this. In "Norman Had A Change of Heart," you give us hope that possibly Norman has reformed.

Smoke Dissolving In Wind is a sad section, largely dealing with coming to grips with a life upturned. "Holding The Breath We Feel Inside Of Us" shows that you can never completely dismiss those disturbing aspects of your life. "Obsession" racks the brain with various possibilities for committing suicide and "The Question Of Failure Arises" shows how even that isn't an easy solution to the pain life can dish out. "On The Days I Am Not My Father" is very telling. While at first it appears that the speaker has nothing but negative feelings toward his father, the ending reminds us that he does love him after all. "So Norman Died Of Course" is a very surprising ending. This is not because Norman dies, that is, every life ends in death, but because this poem is fairly different than the others in the collection. I'm not sure of the reason for all of the surrealistic images but they certainly do get my attention. The last line is lovely,

his hand, his hard right hand which never learned to hold anything gently turned into a leaf that held wind, rain, sunlight
upon it, then let everything go.

Thank you for sharing this story.

Best wishes,
Lynn Ciesielski

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