hekate publishing

American Maniac by David Spicer

AM+crazeda+320+DPI+sideways+1780x2720-min
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By Lynette G. Esposito
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American Maniac by David Spicer, the reader experiences a voice that is loud and clear in seventy-seven pages of poems. Kerby Cassady, author of Overthinking in Poetry, says of American Maniacit is a must read for anyone uninterested in dreamy fantasies and shiny vehicles that take us nowhere but to our self- deluding perceptions of America.  This book will kick you in the ass and have you begging for more.
Spicer does not hold back.  In the title poem American Maniac on page thirteen, the tone is aggressive and clear.
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 My sister was the biggest kid
 on the block, so nobody
fucked with me.
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The twenty-seven line one-stanza poem suggests the narrator is a bit of a blow hard with a strange over protective sister who enacts vengeance more like a brother. The structure supports the narrative of the poem as it reads not as a conversation but a declaration. The last few lines pull it all together.
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His sister beat that sonofabitch, too.
Now there is silence,
now there is pretend time
to look out the window, he says,
but none of us in this magic city
believe him, just listen as long
as he wants to talk.
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The observers allow the reader to see the situation and closure comes.
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Anthem of a Terrorist on page forty-eight also demonstrates Spicer’s skillful control of voice.
Everybody needs to hate
when his eyes are dead.
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The poem continues in eleven couplets that read like mini declarations and puzzle pieces of a damaged angry mind.
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I’ll never die.
I don’t need your weapons.
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He continues.
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I am small but I am God’s brother.
I’ll kill you in my sleep.
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Spicer draws a picture of a dangerous person plotting out his harm to others and elevating himself to godhood.  The poem closes with:
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You are my first enemy.
After you, I will find someone else.
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The poem exposes the big ego of a terrorist and the last line indicates the terror will continue.  It is an excellent poem on a contemporary subject.
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This poetry volume is filled with contemporary themes.  On page seventy-seven, the poem Maniacs Survivor’s Song is again a poem written in eleven couplets with each one making a clear statement. The opening couplet sets the tone and scene.
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Apples will be blue this year.
The bombs fell yesterday.
The poem mirrors the terrorist poem almost as a response and details of aftermath.
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I can still hear the screams.
They are the new anthem.
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The poem clearly shows that surviving is not pleasant.  He uses nature images and human images that portray the severity of hatred.  The poem closes with:
and we have found a new God.
She sings to us as if we are lambs.
The positive side of the poem is that there is survival.  The type and breadth of the survival is not pretty. The Biblical reference to lambs suggests a new beginning and perhaps peace. This is one interpretation. There are, of course, others.
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This tome is one that commands a read and re-read.  It is not for the faint of heart.
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You can find the book here:  https://www.hekatepublishing.com
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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.

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Editor’s note: David Spicer passed from this place on November 25, 2020.

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