By Lynette G. Espositio
John Goode’s Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape published by Rain Mountain Press is an image-laden delight of poems that visualize, conceptualize and realize perception from different but common landscapes.
This continues on through the four parts of the 104 pages of poems followed by an interview with Goode where he discusses motivation and technique.
Goode continues to visualize and conceptualize his poems even in the titles from as simple as Unemployed to Elegy for a Tree in a Poem Written by a Young Woman Sitting at the Bar. His poems, like his titles, vary in length. Some are one stanza and some are several pages. I find this detail of form gives support to the themes. Most are free verse/blank verse in narrative form. In the five stanza poem The Riot of Waitresses, the first lines set a contemporary situation: The girls at work are giving birth to televisions without doctors. From page 87 to page 94, the narrator discusses the thwarted plans of women with their breasts trapped in their boyfriends’ hands like pigeons. Goode juxtaposes common images with an unorthodox landscape. Breasts, boyfriends, pigeons…I love it.
The reader begins through the visualization to realize something special is happening. Goode is able to make a point or points by choosing common understandings that expand out to fresh perceptions on how life works in suggestive images that conjure many interpretations.
The poems are consistently both interesting and surprising. In A Note From My Boss on page 95, Goode uses the letter format and uses the salutary Dear Jude to make a point.
The first line gives real sarcastic attitude please wipe up the Lysol carcasses. This memo to the boss ends with authority: Thank-you and no signature. How impersonal is this as a reference to real life workers and how effective in a poem. Thank-you, John….Yours Lynette.
Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape is available from www.rainmountainpress.com
Lynette G. Esposito has been an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, Burlington County and Camden County Colleges. She has taught creative writing and conducted workshops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Esposito holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois and an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Rutgers University. Her articles have appeared in the national publication, Teaching for Success; regionally in South Jersey Magazine, SJ Magazine. Delaware Valley Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her poetry has appeared in US1, SRN Review, The Fox Chase Review and other literary magazines. She has critiqued poetry for local and regional writer’s conferences and served as a panelist and speaker at local and national writer’s conferences. She lives with her husband, Attilio, in Mount Laurel, NJ.