Book Rec: Black Maria Poems Produced & Directed by Kevin Young If the peekaboo bullet hole in the dust cover doesn't give you a clear indication of the concept behind this poetry collection, the "Produced & Directed by" subtitle should:
Kevin Young pulled together a cohesive, noir-styled detective story told through poetry written like a shooting script for a feature film. Each of the five "reels" is introduced by a serialized summation of the events to come: "Boy meets girl. Girl meets/The City. Nights she sings for her/supper under the stage name Delilah/Redbone; days she avoids the super, and the/casting couch...Aliases and Ambushes...everyone's a suspect...Can anyone be believed?/Stay tuned." Young reveals the bare essentials of the plot to make the poetry easier to access right from the start. And what gorgeous poetry it is. "The Chase" introduces the dame, Delilah Redbone, capturing both the typical detective voice over style and the head-over-heels can't resist her charms moment: "I didn't have a rats chance./Soon as she walked in in/That skin of hers/violins began. You could half hear/The typewriters jabber/as she jawed on: fee, find, me,/poor, please." By committing to the noir style, Kevin Young is able to present a compelling detective story that reads like poetry. Each poem could be read individually and appreciated for the artistry and skill, but to truly experience the work, it has to be read all together. Young captures noir without sacrificing his identity as a poet. Yes, I know its out of stock at the Amazon link. It's a modern poetry collection, what did you expect? A mass printing? Enough copies to build one Harry Potter table? If you hunt around, you can probably find a copy. It's worth it.
Labels: book rec