Flying: A Book of Provocative Poetry
by Patricia Mortenson
Archway Publishing

"Radioactivity is cheap.
Suicide bombs are a sure thing;
Imagine bodies in a heap."

In this bold and defiant collection, readers travel through six cycles, where the generational and the political combine with the interpersonal and the insightful. Poems like "Spitfire" are not only a generational plea for two disparate generations to understand one another, but they are also an extended hand from one generation to another. Even the consumerist and materialistic culture that permeates American society finds a home in this book, specifically in poems such as "Born to Shop": "She's overcome by greed / and overspends on stuff / She doesn't even need." This critical eye continues in the poem "Lost Collection": "But what to do / When you grow old / And your beloved / Collection is sold?" In poems like "Terrorists of the Press," readers turn down political paths where they are asked to consider, "Just who are they writing for? / Who are they trying to impress?"

Part social commentary and part ars poetica, this book is sure to appeal to readers looking for more traditional poems that incorporate meter and rhyme. Readers who also write poetry will find solace in this collection. In its celebration of the craft of poetry and the creative spirit, "Writing My Poetry" becomes a standout feature for writers needing a motivator: "The words come almost by themselves / When the idea is cold and clear." By the collection's end, readers are "Singing in the Shower," where "Music in the background / is like a constant itch." At times serious and then refreshingly playful, this work would be a worthy addition to any poetry lover's bookshelf.

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