Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I like Men Who Like and Read Poetry- Book Review

If a man writes poetry, well then, I really really...really like him!

That was just me thinking out loud, but it's true. How many men do we know personally who read, or even write poetry?  I only knew of one man in my life, my grandfather. I so admired him. These days I am acquainted with a few more men who do read and even write poetry. I have enjoyed both sexes who have written poetic verse.

Okay, where am I going with this? Marcus Goodyear is one of those men, and not only does he read, but he writes poetry...AND he was born and raised in Texas. My home state.

There is an element of personal connection in his writing for me (and I say so many times in this review!). I recognize things he speaks of, especially this piece, 'Resort' (pg 14, Barbies at communion, by Marcus Goodyear)-

When the Baker Hotel died,
no one ordered an autopsy
or called the local mortician.
They just left the carcass
at the crossroads where it fell,
bulging brick walls, gouged eyes
empty sockets jagg'd with glass.

Each line holds me on the steps out front of one of my favorite haunts in Mineral Wells, Texas. A place I pass each time I visit my dad's family in west Texas. A once grand attraction which put a dead town on the map. I never got beyond the foyer (more frightened of jail) or surrounding grounds, but have known so many who dared to take its contents. And display them proudly.

On coffee break, the local doc
doesn't wonder if he could
save her. ...

The marrow sold cheap to antique
stores, and left rooms mostly hallow.
Shout your name in the stairwell,
the space will keep your voice

Remember me, Remember me

It could be any abandoned giant along your horizon these days, but it draws up emotion for me I cannot describe. Eerie are his words; eerie as the stories surrounding its ghost sightings on each floor, and all along the Baker Hotel's grounds. Lots of history is written about this place if you like conjuring up old haunts.

(Baker Hotel, July 2009, taken by myself)

I also identify with another aspect of Marcus works, religion. Normally I am put off by anything from my southern bible belt upbringing, mostly television evangelists. He has a way of looking at his beliefs, and you know when he says "...poetry is prayer...", well it hits home in a more personal down to earth way.

Many of his words, lines, and stanza's in this book conjure up my own memories of sitting in the pew each Sunday, all dressed up, and if we even gave a "I can't sit still" sigh, my mom's hand would slither right over bibles, hymnals, siblings laps, purses like the snake in Eden's garden...and *strike!*, bite us right on the leg. Which would surely lead to our own personal Jesus experience after the service, if we kept it up.

Without giving away Marcus Goodyear's book title's whole poem 'Barbies at communion' (pg 3) during communion his daughter is undressing her dolls, it is a chuckle for me to read-

my daughter undresses
Ariel Barbie, Tinkerbell Barbie,
and 12-inch generic Sleeping Beauty.
I don't know why Ariel's butt crack
makes me nervous, shining up at me

He clearly has a good sense of humor, and a down to earth dad (much of his writing depicts this to me). I only wish my mother had thought of bringing things for us to do during those long hour and half services, especially ceremonial ones. But things were different back during my childhood, clearly my siblings and I were raised during the 'children are to be seen (show off our Sunday best, make the parents look like they were raising good children), and not to be heard' or allowed to express our boredom era. My own children were allowed to be themselves during service, as Marcus's, then thankfully they had their own class so the parents could focus on the lesson at hand.

What more can I say about this wonderful poetry book? Lots, as he has many other topics he touches base on. He also honors friends and family on many of the pages, possibly with inside jokes, or just thoughts that often occur to poets (or at least they do with me) about subjects. I would be honored to see myself related to a poets deep thoughts.

Marcus conjures up my grandfather's thoughtfulness, and many other great male poets whom I admire. I hope to read more of his work. I have a feeling studying his work will help me in my own writing endeavors.

You can find Marcus Goodyear on his website 'GoodWordEditing'. In his 'About' section of this website he explains...

'He is the Senior Editor for Foundations for Laity Renewal, a nonpofit organization in Texas founded by the H. E. Butt Foundation (and the same family that owns and operates the H. E. B. grocery company). Practically speaking, this means I spend my days working with words–sometimes writing, sometimes ghost writing, sometimes editing, most often in the space of new media on these websites: TheHighCalling.org, HighCallingBlogs.com, or Christianity Today’s FaithInTheWorkplace.com.

PS- This also conjures (there is that word again) up images of my favorite food market from the H.E.B. companies- Central Market. If you have not visited this store in the Austin or Dallas area, you should be ashamed. This store cannot be compared to that big health food store chain, no not at all, and if you want one in your area or state, then run, run to the altar and pray they expand beyond Texas (said with a chuckle).


Marcus Goodyear said...

Goodness! What an encouragement. Thank you so much.

Russell Page said...

I don't really like poetry but this Gooyear guy might change my mind.

Chef E said...

Did I say I like men with a sense of humor already? Uh huh...

Toon said...

I'm in another poetry class right now and it's not going well. I think I'll just stick tom drawing.