Reviews in 200 Words

Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady

In Poetry on February 25, 2011 at 3:59 am

Be slapped in the face with this: you deserve it, we all do, no matter what color we are. Collectively, we need this amount of reality. Eady is writing what can’t be written; he’s doing it like the saddest new music you’ve heard. A symphony of music that cannot be ignored. This is the kind of truth that can only be in poetry, but that you cannot imagine writing poems about. Susan Smith used a fictional scapegoat to escape the brutal fact that she killed her sons. Eady gives that character voice; because that character has been scapegoated so many times before. Nothing can run when you’ve broken its legs. / Nothing can fly when you trim its feathers / With a knife, a stone. What Eady proves in these poems is that evil is alive and thriving; people create it every day. But he also proves that if we’re aware of it, if we stare it in the face and dare it to take us over, somehow there’s beauty there. There’s no way of knowing why we do what we do, but certainly we can learn better. Certainly we can learn to see each other.

-Micah Ling

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