German Alcala, Feed Me Your Virgins (No publisher listed, no date listed)
points off for incomplete information.
Like any number of other authors (yes, I have been known to publish the occasional poem here and there), I have a tendency to harp on the idea of showing and not telling, and if you’ve been reading my reviews for any length of time, you’ve probably heard it all before. Now I’ve found a fine little text with which to illustrate the horrors that can be visited upon a page when an author just doesn’t give a damn about image.
“How I desire to reverse time and confess
I felt so much for you. I was intoxicated.
How was I stopped by another fool?
He didn’t give two shits about you in the end
Your tears should not have flown so freely
A noose should never have embraced you, boy!”
(–from “You’re With Me”)
It is not at all coincidence that the one line in that passage that approaches decency, the one from which Alcala might be able to build a workable poem, is the last—the only one that breaks away from the literalness of what might as well be an angsty note written in history class and passed in the hall and moves into the realm of metaphor. (We won’t harp on the use of cliché two lines above, just note it and move on. You really couldn’t find a more original way to say that, Mr. Alcala?)
Just bloody horrible. It does get half a star (though loses it again, as above) because there are scattered lines like that last one in that quote that show there’s something of worth underneath the surface, and given some training and nurturing it might be brought to light…but I got this free, and as far as I’m concerned, I overpaid. (zero)