ReadyPlanet.com
dot dot
dot
Internal Links
dot
bulletFiction
bulletArt
bulletBook Reviews
bulletRecipes
dot
Web Link
dot
bulletCameron University
bulletFacebook
bulletScissortail Creative Writing Festival
bulletTaste of NOLA


แบนเนอร์ตัวอย่าง
แบนเนอร์ตัวอย่าง


Subterranean Red by Kathleen Johnson article

 

Momentum and Space: A Review of Kathleen Johnson’s Subterranean Red
 
Norman, Oklahoma: Mongrel Empire Press, 2012.
 
         
          Kathleen Johnson’s Subterranean Red is a collection of 1) poetic meditations about the place of the self in the world and 2) free verse narratives about family events and personalities. Race, self, and family are all suffering, ambiguous journeys in Johnson’s witness of the world, and this witness is typically symbolized by the Trail of Tears, a haunting presence drawn from the poet’s Cherokee heritage. 
          In the poems “Spring Pilgrimage to Tahlequah” and “Camp Houston,” this symbol of the suffering journey becomes a modern myth of the American highway. In the latter unassuming poem, Johnson hits a mythic chord in the psyche of modern Western Americans who alternately escape from or plummet toward—on great grey winding ribbons of asphalt—whatever dysfunctional family event while the indifferent landscape mutters its secrets to itself.
Family poems that examine alcoholism see a shift in the root symbol from momentum to space, from the road to the subterranean, that red realm of need and despair and rage. Alcohol triggers glimpses into that realm as it turns Dad into Monster Daddy. It  dismantles the life of the “handsome Oklahoma farm boy” in “FFA Jacket,” “Father’s Day,” and “Halloween.”
This author admits to a certain bias in reading Subterranean Red. With the large exception of not being Native American, he shares many of the same experiences. This stanza from “Wild Sand Plums” could be his mother’s epitaph:
          I pass by the empty house
          where Mother lived when she was a girl
          She’s gone a year now. Her heart gave out
          here in the same county she was born into,
          barely a mile from the old homeplace.
          But reading for mere self-recognition makes poetry an entertainment, a commodified sentimentality. Composed with heart and craft, the stronger poems of this collection force us to see the limitations of ourselves.
 
 
 
 
Reviewed by Hugh Tribbey  



Book Reviews

American Dreams by Norbert Krapf article
Homing Instincts by Karen Guzman article
Expecting Songbirds, Selected Poems 1983-2015 by Joe Benevento
From the Extinct Volcano, a Bird of Paradise by Carter Revard article
Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem & Song by Donna Walker-Nixon article
Lavando La Dirty Laundry by Natalia Treviño article
Behind the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness (New Lit Salon Press, 2014) article
The Goatherd by Larry D. Thomas
A Walk on the Wild Side and Nonconformity: Writing on Writing by Nelson Algren article
The Lobsterman’s Dream by Larry D. Thomas
Pretty Boy by W.M. Cunnigham article
Communion by Nettie Farris
Catholic Boy Blues by Norbert Krapf
Choctalking on Other Realities by LeAnne Howe article
Ransomed Voices by Raby, Elizabeth article
Disenchanted and Disgruntled by Michelle Hartman article
Lives of Passion by Gene McCormick article
Dakota Blues by Lynne M. Spreen article
Uncle Ernest by Larry D. Thomas article
Walking Toward Solstice by Anca Vlaspolos article
Blackjacks and Blue Devils by Jerry Wilson article
Night Flight by Kerry Keys article
Red Fields: Poems from Iraq by Jason Poudrier’s article
The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore article
The Kingfisher’s Reign by Jonas Zdanys article
Along the Watchtower by Constance Squires article
Petty Offenses & Crimes of the Heart by Mitchell Waldman article
Spider Face by Kevin Rabas article



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved by Cybersoleil A Literary Journal