Underneath my American Face by By M.L. Liebler
This new poetry collection by M.L. Liebler is a decade worth of poetry starting in the 70’s and going to the present which makes it a very unique overall work from the start.Amazon USA
“Underneath my American Face”
Five Decades of Selected Poems
By M.L. Liebler
Review by LB Sedlacek
This new poetry collection by M.L. Liebler is a decade worth of poetry starting in the 70’s and going to the present which makes it a very unique overall work from the start.
From the 1970’s section (“Martyr of Pig through Measuring Darkness”) is his poem entitled “Unemployment”: “I’ve stood in line. / I’ve stood on line / Long enough to know / What assistance is.” It takes great skill to pen a poem, but to write one that stands the test of time is even more remarkable. Things haven’t changed all that much since the 1970’s or so it seems.
From there we move into the 1980’s to the “Whispers by the Lawn Volumes I & II” section. Here’s a poem that caught my eye:
“Dead Art!” for John Lennon & Thelonious Monk:
In the rustic canons
Of fortune and fame
The dizzying breath
Of ancient skill
and contemporary art.”
How can we be artists of any type and not write about (paint or sing about) our Art? This is a poem with a punch talking about how art dies only to regroup, and in my words perhaps be reborn again.
In the 1990’s we have the “Breaking the Voodoo, Deliver Me, Stripping the Adult Century Bare, Brooding the Heartlands” section. The poems in these section seem to come at you from all sides. They burst onto the scene. They bring a rhythm and a solid voice.
From the poem “Breaking the Voodoo”:
“I better think about this.
Something is happening
To me because
Something is rattling
Inside of me
To move my spirit up
Through the top
Of my bald head,
And it’s hot!”
Then we move into 21st Century Poems 2000-2021 “Written in Rain, The Moon A Box, Wide
Awake in Someone Else’s Dream” section.
From the poem: “Sitting Shiva for Janis Joplin” For Alicia Suskin Ostriker
“We started all over
Again, taking it from
The top while driving
Through a crystalline midnight
Of another dark Michigan winter.
Stars as pointed as bright laser
Musical notes hung above
The universe of the sky. Cold
As heroin outside, and blank warmness
Inside, we listened close to each
Street blue lyrical poem
The poems in this section are more somber and reflective. The mood shifts and justifiably so as the world has done from the 70’s forth in these poems.
“The Moon A Box (2004)” is also a part of the 21st Century Poems section. It includes several more poems.
Liebler’s poetry is accessible and seems to celebrate the everyday but with many hidden layers underneath and all around. There are strong emotions, there is suspense, there is ordinary and extraordinary. These poems are much like snapshots revealing oh so much within each verse, every stanza.
~LB Sedlacek is the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars,” “Happy Little Clouds,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her first poem novel is “The Blue Eyed Side” and her first short story collection is entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” Her mystery novel “The Glass River” was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. She writes poetry reviews for “The Poetry Market Ezine” www.thepoetrymarket.com You can find out more about her at www.lbsedlacek.com