Sunday, June 03, 2007

Subterranean Radio Songs review in Thylazine
"Joel Deane's free verse is direct and seemingly simple. What layers it possesses are of the emotional type. He doesn't hit us over the head with grim reality; rather he insinuates it into the reader's psyche in a way so artful that it appears artless...

"The poem 'Good Friday' (p.14), in four parts, introduces the nub of the collection, a child that is stillborn, whose ghost haunts the text, even the travel poems. Its second section, 'Residua', describes the pathos of packing up the waiting cot and putting it in the garage; in the third section, 'Postmortem', the poet and his partner debate the 'whys' of the situation. The poem ends abruptly with the devastating 'In Utero', a cremation scene, in which the fire becomes the welcoming womb for the stillborn baby: 'The womb of the incinerator / now holds you / at nine-hundred degrees / centigrade'. But this is not the end of the story. On page 20, the poem 'I build a little house where our hearts once lived' describes Deane's attempts to reassemble his life, to 'remake rooms I cannot find'. As an evocation of grief, it's hard to go past these heartfelt pieces...

"There are many fine poems in Subterranean Radio Songs, but they work best together as a collection, allowing us insight into the thoughts and feelings of a grief-stricken man seeking healing and understanding by jumping feet-first out into the world." - Liz Hall-Downs

Read the full review

2 comments:

Stacey said...

You write very well.

joeldeane said...

Thanks Stacey