Burn Baby Burn By Roger Aplon
Roger Aplon’s new collection is divided into five sections. He begins his unique poetry compilation with an explanation of the book’s title and dedicating it to all those who’ve devoted themselves to the survival of our endangered planet.Amazon USA
Burn Baby Burn by Roger Aplon
Reviewed by LB Sedlacek
Roger Aplon’s new collection is divided into five sections. He begins his unique poetry compilation with an explanation of the book’s title and dedicating it to all those who’ve devoted themselves to the survival of our endangered planet.
The first section of the book contains poems dealing with war and conflict, more or less. He writes as if a news correspondent delivering the news in the form of a poem.
From the poem “The Builders of Bombs & Lies Connect Each Wire:”
“After struggling through smoke & grit for most of the day, he finds an /
armored truck in place of his house. After scouring the grounds he /
realizes his family had been taken & there are no stars to keep him on /
His words are able to illustrate the horrors of fighting, the grief, the disbelief and all the emotions that get wrapped up in it all. He doesn’t go into it lightly, he douses the reader with powerful images and discussion worthy verse.
The second section is written in a stream of consciousness like prose. It’s very inventive and on the surface seems to deal with relationships and struggles. There’s quite a bit more going on, though, underneath the text.
Here’s a sample – from the poem “Makrokosmos II:” – “Twinkle-Twinkle. One step at a time. The / stars align. Just so. Yes. I can feel it. That cosmological stuff. Those / songs among the stars. One day at a time. & Now we know . They / came to destroy & they’re doing a pretty good job. A penny for your / winking – thinking.
Aplon gives the reader a surprising eruption of free verse and prose. He slices out the fluff and his writing might actually satisfy the poetry lover’s appetite for words.
The third and fourth sections of the book contain reflections, origin stories and escapades, among other things. He gives us lines such as “his thoughts like a monkey studying Shakespeare or a cowboy whistling / Dixie” (from the poem “Once,”). This poem is a rather unique take on Sunday choir. It is an invitation to open your mind and enjoy the way he harnesses his verses into his poems.
The “Homage to a Widow” is the final section. It contains several poems of a widow’s experiences.
From the poem “The Widow Paints”:
“a ladder to the stars or is it a crowd that crafts a castle of their bodies, /
arm by knee by foot by . . .”
Here he is able to capture the anxiety and suffering one might feel with a loss, and also of how to continue on without a loved one. It’s a difficult process no matter the circumstances, and Alpon is able to find a way to put these feelings into poems.
Alpon catapults his collection with intense but often welcoming verse. He takes moments and turns them into poems of rescue, promise and hurt, poems of wonder, grief and chaos. There’s a bit of magic in the way the book is put together – a terrific language jolt to the reader as this is not any ordinary poetry collection, and there’s a lot of good in that.
~LB Sedlacek’s latest poetry book is “Ghost Policy.” She is also the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” “Words and Bones,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her non-fiction books include “The Poet Protection Plan,” “The Traveling Postcard,” and “Electric Melt.” Her short story collection is entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” www.lbsedlacek.com