Yorker Keith’s debut novel Remembrance of Blue Roses, a beautiful love triangle, is written with a touching poignancy. The novel’s plot revolves around Mark, Yukari, and Hans who share an interesting bond that begins through friendship and concludes in a love-triangle leaving the reader restlessly anticipating the outcome of such a connection. Mark and Hans work at the United Nations office in New York City and Yukari, a classical musician, who is Hans’ wife, is introduced to Mark one day. She immediately takes a liking to Mark who accepts and tremendously enjoys and feels honored to be included in Hans and Yukari’s friendship. Keith’s prose develops and emerges from a poetic and metaphoric rendition of blue roses, fragile emotions, complicated relationship dynamics, and unrequited love involving other characters in the story. Keith’s fiction writing style is unique and realistic as he narrates the political tensions and relationship challenges, not necessarily resulting in a fairy-tale ending but instead real life-like situations we can all relate to or have experienced ourselves. I enjoyed reading Remembrance of Blue Roses and look forward to more work by this exciting emerging novelist.
Flat Earth Theory is an interesting debut novel by Yael Egal featuring Tess, a Brooklyn French teacher, as the main protagonist. The story revolves around the aftermath of Tess’s divorce from her husband, Patrick, who had cheated on her several times. He is portrayed as a remorseless insensitive man. Tess is trying to get her life back on track post-divorce and provide stability for her two children. She has created, through comic sketches, an alter-ego by the name of Andrea who is a spy during the World War two era. The novel is written creatively often shifting between the life of Tess and the comic strip narrations sans the visual pictures. Instances of terrorism are portrayed that seem to intersect with the subconscious mind of Tess. The story leaves a lot unsaid and open to personal interpretation of the readers. Guy, a French parent of a student from Tess’s classroom is a romantic interest whom Tess dates for some time until she suspects he may not be what he seems…overall the plot and subplot kept me hooked and I read it in a couple of sittings. I would recommend Yael Egal’s debut novel to anyone who likes mysteries or political suspense genres.
Gary Beck’s “Displays” is an important work of poetry in contemporary times of political, cultural, and social chaos that reflects eloquent abstractions and details of complex problems from a clear and insightful vantage point. One cannot escape the authenticity of Beck’s vision in capturing the minute details of the human condition that continue to worsen. His ability to frame different scenarios in single poetic displays is akin to pieces of art.
Beck is a poet of intellectual capacity and dynamic poetic flair who skillfully combines both with an objective compassion reminiscent of a man standing…watching a flight of birds in the distance…arrested by the beauty yet knowing full-well that he cannot join in the flight nor experience the sky like them but sage-like in his belief that his position affords him equal depth of diverse experiences.
The reader will find dark sarcasm in “Poetry 2005” where Beck mocks the contemporary literary scene, which is devoid of quality but overabundant with quantity:
“The guardians of poetry,
mostly self appointed,
produce polished products
that make their universities proud…”
The reader similarly cannot miss the subtle hint of romanticism tucked in “Distances.”
Beck’s discussions (in his poems) include subjects of poverty, war, 9/11, as well as environmental issues such as in the poem, “Escape…”
“If I were a fish
I wouldn’t like to be American.
Polluters and anglers
would take years off my life…”
While reading “Displays” my mind wanders in a hundred different directions and I know I am pushed to question everything that is acceptable, everything we have become numb to, and no longer see.
Definitely worthwhile and an enjoyable read; an intellectual and poetic treat.
A debut poetry collection written by John Swain, Ring the Sycamore Sky transports the reader into a lush, primitively embalmed atmosphere of human and natural instincts. Agape at the grotesque monstrosity of love and the complex fragility of human emotions, Swain expertly weaves a rich tapestry of unusual poetic flair combined with myriad emotional and nature related intersecting symbolic patterns of implied sublimity. Swain is a gifted poet possessed with a sensual and lyrical storytelling capacity that imbibes ageless wisdom, deep undercurrents of romantic discourse, all the while enthralling the reader with the nuances of a rich lingual feast. Examples of his writing are shared in the excerpts below, his work is available on Amazon. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky and Ring the Sycamore Sky is his first book length publication.
I say joy to you,
receive a wreath of hands
for the days
we live without love.
And of this bed of embers
I will not lie in grief
for all the glowing world
rain and sleep.
(from Wreath, Ring the Sycamore Sky)
The monastery lake
empties itself to the sky
like a nourishing birth
allows the blue changeling
to find its hiding shape.
I removed my shoes
and touched moss on rocks
in the summer forest
where the creek begins.
Farther down the meander
a wood thrush led me
softly past the hermitage,
I would not disturb him,
I will find my own quiet
beneath a sky of sun
as water touches water.
(from Hermitage, Ring the Sycamore Sky)
allegorical beasts by Leo Schulz
Leo Schulz’s allegorical beasts is a stunning journey through erotica, love, desire, and a confluence of poetic wordplay and fantastical dark brooding imagery reminiscent of the Shakespearean era. Distinguished by five separate sections that address differing themes, Schulz has written sonnets in neo-traditional style reflecting creativity infused with restless desire and exploration of le sexe féminin. Schulz’s writing is reflective of masterful poetic narration that brings the reader into a voyage of exploration of erotic adventures as if the reader was the poet himself and was experiencing the moments described.
The five sections in allegorical beasts consist of: Sonnets from the Sea, An Imitation of Dante, The Devil Writes to A Woman Who Loves Him, City of Solitude, and Love : A Confession.
A word of caution, allegorical beasts is not for the weak hearted or those with moral qualms toward blatant authorship and creative expression. Schulz does not hesitate to express thoughts and desires rarely communicated (writing or vocally) for public viewing. I recommend allegorical beasts as a feast for the senses that the reader will hardly regret.
allegorical beasts can be purchased by clicking here.
Leo Schulz lives in London, UK.