The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry
by Theodore M. Wandzilak, M.D.

"Yes, in the quiet of my courtyard/The sounds became deafening."

Inspired by the principal publisher of the beat generation, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Dr. Wandzilak’s poetry compilation is refreshingly simple, yet it is this simplicity and focus on sound and beat that evokes a series of emotions. From the first poem, “NEVER SPOKE,” the poet establishes parallelism and in the namesake poem, “The East Deck Motel,” he uses illuminating imagery to conjure the desired emotion. Throughout, the emphasis remains on beat. In order to preserve this beat, there is a repetition of certain lines like “You know what” in “Distractions” that conjures memories of prominent beat pioneer, Allen Ginsberg and his iconic “Howl.”

A considerable number of poems, including, but not limited to, “Quiet,” “The Exit,” and “Whatever Happened to Me”, seem to probe into existential topics, conveying a meditative calm. However, it is in “People,” that Dr. Wandzilak exquisitely portrays humanity as the “little trees” that make up the forest.

“Years Passing By” is another testament to the influence of beat poetry. The speaker shares four poems to capture four disparate points of his timeline, all culminating with song lyrics that help intensify the beat rhythm. Ultimately, the final poem, “Women vs. Men,” may be the most simple, yet most confounding and demonstrates that Dr. Wandzilak’s decades-long medical career clearly seeps through in his poetry. While this final poem is open to myriad interpretations, there is a distinct notion of life going full circle that is aesthetically pleasing, and fitting.

From the first to the last, the poems have a memorable, even endearing quality that will catch the reader’s eye. This collection provides an enjoyable experience and even a musical allure, particularly if the poems are read aloud.

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