by Lance Lee
Birch Brook Press

"These were my dreams.
I wove them there.
They are my life, all true.
My dreams always are."

Lance Lee's poetry is passionate and detailed, focusing a lens on the human world and our desperate attempts to understand the physical landscape in which we exist. Actaeon even says, "This world… is a story / waiting to have itts meaning laid bare." Lee observes the interaction between man and the environment, our quest to conquer it, adapt to it, or succumb to it. He ponders what is real and what is not real. Fusing together a tapestry of poetry and artwork (including color works of Cezanne and Monet) he invokes a sense of the ethereal, exploring concepts of memories and dreams, of longing and desires and the "kaleidoscope twists" of the mind that can unravel a person.

He hints at the fear of unknowns, the subconscious of men and women from various walks of life in both ancient and modern worlds. He examines homelessness and mental illness, at times drawing us unwillingly toward the depth of impending madness, such as in "Dreams." "The floor opens beneath him / he plunges downward in fear / he is locked in a room where / he fights someone else's shadows…" In "A Battered Man," Lee contemplates a man's reaction to violence and death and in "Graffiti in the Underworld" he follows an artist drifting "across Rome's cobblestoned streets," compelled to linger in the underworld away from the tourists of the day.

Dazed, I spray scenes of my own
in this two-thousand-year-old jumble
as crowds pour in from the tunnels
and sweep me up to ravish rob
strip choke stab shoot raw
pleasure all, and all pleasures one.
Lost, appalled, I become a heap of rags
stinking, homeless, abandoned

A playwright, poet, dramatist, and author, Lee has crafted something here that offers a rare glimpse of an accomplished living writer. Featuring previous poems and new works, alongside captivating artwork, there is a palpable energy threading through this collection of poetry that grabs your attention from beginning to end.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home