WORDS LINED UP

Strained rhymes and some unoriginal subject matter keep this collection from being a resounding success.

Schultz’s poetry collection offers a meditation on coming of age while tackling themes of race, identity, and self-discovery.

The core theme of this poetry collection is identity; in a poem titled after the first-person singular, “I,” the speaker concludes “I am/ Just…I.” The poems leading to this revelation trace the speaker’s quest to find out who he is, who he is meant to be, and who he is meant to be with. The speaker is biracial, with “the white side/the black side,”and his experience of identity is one in which he tries to reconcile his two lineages and reckon with what it means to be a biracial man in America. As the speaker grows up and tries to understand his identity, he must also contend with raw emotions and with his desire; the speaker’s quest to engage with his identity also forces him to figure out his place in the world and his relationships with the people around him. Schultz’s poetry references Tupac Shakur, and this collection owes a lot—from the formal poetic qualities to the black-and-white illustrations by McGee, Anastasiia, Drummond, and Hu that dot the book—to Shakur’s poetry collection The Rose that Grew from Concrete.Much of the collection reads like a mixtape for rejection and heartbreak, combined with the speaker’s hope to build a family. The poem “Crying” is a shining example of Schultz at his best, as some expected terms (like “friendship” and “separation”) are juxtaposed with surprising ones (like “cats” and “steroids”). Most of the poems, however, trade in typical images of passion, as sentiments like “My love may burn” (“Sugar”) have been overdone since Petrarch. or are too tethered to awkward rhymes like “Is it necessary for love to be so frightful and scary/ Should I be wary” (“Letter to HER”) for them to reach their full potential.

Strained rhymes and some unoriginal subject matter keep this collection from being a resounding success.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2023

ISBN: 9798218187002

Page Count: 180

Publisher: DreamTitle Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2023

ROGUE WARRIOR

The stormy career of a top Navy SEAL hotspur. Commander Marcinko, USN Ret., recently served time at Petersburg Federal Prison for conspiracy to defraud the Navy by overcharging for specialized equipment—the result, he says, of telling off too many admirals. It seems that his ornery and joyous aggression, nurtured by a Czech grandfather in a flinty Pennsylvania mining town, has brought him to grief in peace and to brilliance in war. Serving his first tour in Vietnam in 1966 as an enlisted SEAL expert in underwater demolition, Marcinko returned for a second tour as an officer leading a commando squad he had trained. Here, his accounts of riverine warfare—creeping underwater to Vietcong boats and slipping over their gunwales; raiding VC island strongholds in the South China Sea; steaming up to the Cambodian border to tempt the VC across and being overrun- -are galvanic, detailed, and told with a true craftsman's love. What did he think of the Vietcong? ``The bastards—they were good.'' His battle philosophy? ``...kill my enemy before he has a chance to kill me....Never did I give Charlie an even break.'' After the aborted desert rescue of US hostages in the Tehran embassy, Marcinko was ordered to create SEAL Team Six—a counterterrorist unit with worldwide maritime responsibilities. In 1983, the unit was deployed to Beirut to test the security of the US embassy there. Easily evading the embassy security detail, sleeping Lebanese guards, and the Marines, the SEALs planted enough fake bombs to level the building. When Marcinko spoke to ``a senior American official'' about the problem, the SEAL's blunt security advice was rejected, particularly in respect to car-bomb attacks. Ninety days later, 63 people in the embassy compound were killed by a suicide bomber driving a TNT-filled truck. Profane and asking no quarter: the real nitty-gritty, bloody and authentic. (Eight-page photo insert—not seen.)

Pub Date: March 2, 1992

ISBN: 0-671-70390-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1992

THE QUIVERING TREE

Great fun.

The second installment of childhood recollections (after Opposite the Cross Keys, 1988) by mystery writer S.T. Haymon, who here evokes a sheltered 12-year-old's further encounters with life's earthier side.

Haymon's 1920's, upper-middle-class childhood revolved typically around school, home, loyal servants, and a pair of doting, well-educated parents—until age 12, when her father died and her mother decided to move to London. Refusing to accompany her, the precocious, comically self-confident Sylvia tried to limit this series of upheavals by insisting on remaining in Norfolk in the care of a favorite teacher—except that at the last minute her headmistress (already a sworn enemy) switched houses, arranging for two maiden schoolteachers to put Sylvia up in their house instead. Sylvia knew that the Misses Gosse and Locke were eccentric. What she didn't know was that the skinny, aggressive history teacher and the teary, puppy-like math professor were lesbians. Nor did she notice as Miss Locke's increasingly desperate infatuation with her began to lead the entire household toward destruction. Amusing characters abound—the gardener, Sylvia's only ally, whose faith in the value of a virgin's tips on the horse races led him to pay her for advice; the dour housekeeper who sang opera and downed bottles of gin; the art teacher's model who bewildered Sylvia with talk of "randy old dykes"; and the spiritual channel who informed her that her daddy was watching everything she did from heaven. Haymon's depiction of herself as an unusually clever, frequently petulant, and thoroughly practical young girl obsessed with filling her stomach while all sorts of passionate fireworks exploded around her evokes an era when secrets still existed and scandals were bursting to happen—and makes for slyly humorous, very British entertainment.

Great fun.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 1990

ISBN: 312-04986-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

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