Sunday, June 13, 2010

Felino Soriano reviews Gary Beck's Expectations


Poetry by Gary Beck, 104 pp
Rogue Scholars Press
Reviewed by Felino A. Soriano

Expectations, when one delves into the definitional, subjective splays of this word combining anticipation with the collocated virtue of hope, the reader involved with Gary Beck’s poems, can ascertain then, not simply a topographical realization of interpersonal revelation, but too, an involvement with Beck’s environmental occurrences—those of valid imagination that sketches various tableaus with wondrous imagery and essential dexterity.

This collection begins existentially:

Abandoned in the desert

I dream rescues,

while the smiting sand

strips the shimmering flesh

from my rejected bones.

Where is the guide?

Wagon master of the soul’s journey

fording rivers,

repelling ambushes,

then leaving me behind,

a companion to the voyage

who turned the wheel

harder than anyone,

but questioned the road.

Abandoned, pg. 17

Pondering the evidence of atmospheric whereabouts appears to be a meandering theme throughout this collection. Understanding Beck’s advanced poetic abilities, posits an immediate understanding of his use of philosophical language, employed to devour clich├ęs, although thematic episodes may be relatable to various readers:

Fission and fusion are conspiring

in covert collaborations

with entangling alliances,

to test the short term tenants

of White House, White Hall, Kremlin,

with abodes well endowed with powerful polemics,

that don’t inform the public,

that unauthorized splitting

of misunderstood atoms

may be punishable by




despite timely intervention of

Habeas Corpus,

Geneva convention,

International inspection,

Prisoners are Entitled, pg. 33

Beck’s ability to transpose reason and automatic displays of dismantling quotidian occurrences is an indigenous gift found in each of the poems finding existence in this collection; he understands language’s various methods of coercing emotional realization of compatibility with the images he creates.

Discovery interacts with sketches of moments serenading physical embodiment:

Mumbles in the parlor

playthings of children fumble together

parental eyes elsewhere

moment of touch and blush.

Footsteps on the creaky sentry staircase

rush to mend disarray

nervous smile from couch to chair,

enter the destroyer of delight.

Social chatter of a passing age

grumbles of what used to be

exit with admonitions.

Shy look from couch to chair

insurance pause, quick move,

young hands touch and hold,

parents worry in a distant room,

young flesh meets, encourages.

pg. 62

Overall, Expectations represents some of Beck’s finest work. As a prolific and widely published poet, he becomes, through metaphysical understanding, embodiment of poet and philosopher, and with his constructs of beautiful and entrancing language, this collection should become symbolic and ascertained as his premiere work of poetic creation.

--Felino A. Soriano

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