Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#EricaGoss Night Court - Review


My thoughts
Each time I review a book of poetry, I think to myself, "I need to read more poetry." Poetry centers me. As I'm reading each poem, I feel a calmness come over me. There are moments of joy, and too, moments of sadness. This holds true in this lovely volume of poetry titled Night Court. As I was reading, I felt each poem describing some aspect of life. Very relatable and, at times, poignant. I found the poems about parents the most compelling and touching. I've been having a difficult time of late with my relationship with my dad so the poems about her father really spoke to me. Particularly "My Father at Seventy" and "Visiting Hours." The latter had me near tears. I'll share it with you...

Visiting Hours

You don't panic when you see him
sitting at the window of his private room

where he's been sketching a bottle of hand lotion.
Something else sets in, let's call it pre-panic,

like the first time he left you, dropped your hand
and stepped through the kindergarten door

or when you left him in a dorm
with two wall-eyed roommates.

This not-quite-panic, this warmup-for-panic
served you well when he called you from

the highway with a crumpled fender.
You made him call the tow truck, made him

take responsibility, for once,
smug and parental and not panicking.

But when he looks through you, tells you about movie night
and occupational therapy

shows you the ten pills a day he needs 
just to keep his world horizontal

you let the clean heat of panic constrict your heart,
loosen your gut, the sweat rolling down your scalp

like the first rain after summer's drought
in a California meadow.

Like I said, relatable. "Visiting Hours" perfectly captures what we fear, but must face, with aging parents. Not hard to understand why this one had me near tears.

If you love poetry, I highly recommend Goss's Night Court. I hope it speaks to you as it spoke to me.

********

Night Court by Erica Goss was the winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award and published by Glass Lyre Press in May 2017.

Advance Praise:
“Night Court leaves us hungry for more of the poet’s open, probing, leaping intelligence, her ‘wild associations’ and surprises in the unexpected ‘shivering’ sweetness of a love story where ‘joy scrambles sadness.’ We hear ‘the clatter of souls entering bodies’ and experience ‘spring’s lizard stealth’ as sadness, longing and reluctance are transformed by breath-stopping beauty. Like a creature in the forest, the poet will ‘rub my cheek against the night.’ And she reminds us a prince waits, perhaps for centuries, until we wake.”
—Susan G. Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

“’No more / mindless syrup blunting / raw edges, // no more disguising things / with bland counterparts.’ The poems in Night Court are often starkly rendered, tough yet sensitive. Deeply imaginative, the poems describe a feral world also experienced by children, a world of hungry ghosts, magic, beasts and violence. ‘There’s a crack at the edge / of the world where the dark // and comic leak through’ Goss takes us to this illuminating place.”
— Robert S. Pesich, President, Poetry Center San Jose


About the Poet:
Erica Goss is a poet and freelance writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Rattle, Wild Violet, and Comstock Review, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls: . Please visit her website, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Vimeo.

Video poem: https://vimeo.com/214537057
Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uzK6ne

Blog Tour Schedule:
Aug. 3: Reading Writings (Guest Post)
Aug. 8: Modern Creative Life (Typical Tuesday)
Aug. 14: Reading Writings (Review)
Aug. 16: The Book Connection (Interview)
Aug. 21: Modern Creative Life (Studio Tour)
Aug. 28: Diary of an Eccentric (Video Poem)
Aug. 29: True Book Addict (Review)
Aug. 30: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
Aug. 31: Reading Writings (Interview)
Sept. 6: Celticlady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Sept. 12 Readaholic Zone (Review)



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3 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but I turned it off and had close to 50 spam comments within 12 hours (nobody has time for that) so I had to turn it back on. Sorry!

This blog is Award Free. I appreciate your thinking of me for an award, but please know that your comments are my award. Thank you!

  1. Thank you for being on the blog tour!

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  2. I haven't read a lot of poetry since high school but I've read lots of children's poetry with my son. I've been wanting to expand into poetry and do the hard work. I'm so glad this one speaks to you. I'll have to check it out!

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  3. I think the same thing every time I read a book of poetry but then never seem to pick them up. This one sounds terrific.

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