Wednesday, December 28, 2011


In the cluttered world of poetry publishing where chapbooks--self-published or otherwise--multiply and breed like feral rabbits, it's refreshing to stumble upon a compact volume of work that stands up against the best of the best. In Past, Present, Suture (Drifting Man Press) poet Stephen Caratzas has woven together a tangled web of street worthy ruminations that will suck the reader into his world, a world rife with darkness, longing, compassion, love lost, regret, and despair. In other words, life, as most of us will know it at one time or another.

In Life Among The Cubicles, Caratzas captures the banality of life as an office drone in five simple, yet artfully written sentences that will resonate loudly with anyone who has ever trudged through a day in corporate America. That Waitress With A Black Eye Reminds Me Of You, Joan is a moment in time captured with an economy of words that any contemporary poet should admire and emulate. The Trick is a jazz riff disguised as poetry, an improvisational solo of fractured lines and crooked words that redefine language and spatiality in modern poetry, and is one of the more impressive writes here.

As a collection, the 28 poems presented in Past, Present, Suture represent the work of a poet who adheres to the "write what you know" philosophy quite closely, while avoiding the black hole of banality that can often overshadow on-your-sleeve style writing. Individually, each piece in the chapbook can stand alone, but as a collected work, Past, Present, Suture is a glimpse into the future of modern, contemporary poetry. And the future looks bright, indeed.

A.g. Synclair
Editor & Publisher
The Montucky Review
28 December, 2011

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