All posts by GaryCBeck

Review of Perturbations by Jim Bennett

One Hundred and Seven poems covering social commentary and human experience.
four stars.

This review is only the opinion of one person. So, as always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later. Let’s get to the good stuff: Beck’s work.

Beck often does social commentary, and the opening poem, Pledge, is an interesting (and somewhat cynical) example. You will find this again in Punishment Camp. Beck has moved (imho) more strongly into communicating an experience, for example The Wonder of Birth, where we find this: “Children are stars /fallen from a dimness, /until the freedom thump….”

There are personal relationship experiences here, some of which are touchingly sad, as in Last Stop, where we find this: “Then you stood up with /your surprising thighs, /passed me like a woman strutting /before the passenger’s approving eyes /as I felt stripped naked,…”

Living in a mixed and perhaps unfriendly neighbourhood is captured in Remote Companions: “My neighbors’ faces are closed doors /and their forbidden apartments /leak sounds of mysterious events.” The poem goes on from there, believe me.
There is sex here, but it is not graphic while well done; for example in Construction Site we find this: “Shall I tell myself /my hands have never touched /the softness of your hips, /my mouth the aphrodisiac of your lips, /when they have learned to fit you?”

For another reflection on sex and love, turn to Past Yearnings, where Beck shows that he can rhyme very well when he chooses to do so.

Beck rhymes again in Lost Search, which is difficult to describe in a sentence. Buy the book and turn to this poem.

For a spin on voyeurism, turn to Peeper. Here Beck has close rhymes which seem natural, while conveying a personal experience.

I have reviewed Beck before. This is both like and unlike his earlier work. If you enjoyed Beck’s voice in earlier books, you’ll find that here too. But you will also find more ‘reach’ into your gut with conveyed experience. Some of these poems are complex; my notes include ‘reread this one’ at least a few times. Beck is worthy of your time and attention.
All that said, how do I come up with a star count? Here comes the boilerplate:

My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. Beck is maybe at four point four nine stars here, and that’s only one opinion. Your personal rating may well be higher. Four stars from this curmudgeon is a strong recommendation. I really enjoyed reading this book.

Kindle Book Review Team member.

(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)

Cathy Porter review of Perturbations

Cathy Porter
Review of Perturbations by Gary Beck
Winter Goose Publishing 2017

While reading Gary Beck’s latest poetry collection, Perturbations, I’m drawn to comparisons to the latest release from Lizzy Goodman, “Meet Me In The Bathroom,” –covering the rebirth of rock in New York from 2001-2011, in the words of the musicians and players, big and small, who helped revitalize the scene during those crucial years in our history. What’s the connection? In both Mr. Beck’s recent collection and the Goodman book, I find an intriguing dynamic between the societal and the personal. In the Goodman book, the best sections are when various individuals discuss their emotions after 9/11 in the music community of New York. In Mr. Beck’s collection, the poems I find the most riveting are the ones where the author focuses on the personal, but always keeping in mind societal aspects of all of our lives. Reading the collection, I can see the skyline of Manhattan; imagine the characters as they maneuver through the grime of life.

The author moves in and out of life, love, and everyday chaos in a collection that feels more personal than previous works. In “Remote Companions,” the main character struggles with imagining others suffer as he does: “it’s hard to see our neighbors and friends/with the same torments.” I feel many of us, when going through various traumas, have a hard time realizing that we really are not that different from most people, and most of us DO suffer in life-just some more than others, but all eventually taking a turn. “Night Shift” takes a look at shift workers, and all who have worked “the odd hours.” As someone who used to work many “odd hours”, this poem has stayed with me, cemented in my brain. “Common Sparrow” is a definite highlight, and in my opinion, a wonderful love poem without coming off overtly sentimental or over the top: “I passed my hand/across the smoothness/of your freckled back”/. Beautiful. A nice break in a book that covers some familiar ground of society’s ills, and all the problems of living in a big city, dealing with love, loss and torment.

If you are familiar with Gary Beck’s work, I see no reason why this collection shouldn’t take your interest further. It is a bit different in terms of more poems dealing with the personal, but overall, it ties in nicely with his other releases. There is something here for everyone. A great collection that will hold your interest. Highly recommended.

Tremors Review – Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers’ Favorite

Tremors, a collection by poet Gary Beck, holds within its pages a grand combination of both free verse and rhyming poetry. His poems touch on his viewpoints of civilization as it is today, and where it has been. The words hit you like an energy field, shocking you into his world. A voice carries through in such a visceral way that you are transported to that place, a place not physical, but more into the specific mindset that he was in when he wrote the poem. The poems are perfect in their length, and have no fat or fluff attached. They are perfect steaks ready for consumption.

In Gary Beck’s Tremors, I fell in love with the poem “Sacrifice.” The way in which it trots along so un-modernly and then, in the end, it hits you in the gut and faces you with the problems of most people’s worlds right now with only these two words, “credit card.” Beck has a keen way of unsettling you, keeping you on your toes, not letting the reader know if he’s going to zig or zag. It is that same exciting, unsettling feeling that one might experience on a rollercoaster. One of the lines I treasured most is short and simple – “and hardly refreshed/rushed back to burdens” – deriving from the poem “Entropy.” Being transported in a book is essential for it to be successful, and you will definitely be taken to another place while reading this book of poems, I can assure you.

New Poetry Book

Perturbations
A poetry collection by

Gary Beck

For Immediate Release

Gary Beck’s new poetry book evokes concern about disruptions to the desire for a comfortable, prosperous, untroubled life, Perturbations leads us through all its gloriously chaotic uncertainties.

Beautifully expressed loneliness – Page & Spine

Great work making the world a little more beautiful – Spank the Carp

Exactly what we like, strong and surprising – The Legendary

Perturbations is a 129 page poetry book. Available in paperback with a retail price of $11.99, ISBN: 1941058701 and also in a Kindle version. Published through Winter Goose Publishing. Available now through all major retailers. For information or to request a review copy, contact:
jessica@wintergoosepublishing.com

Perturbations Book Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj4sua7BaCM
https://www.amazon.com/Perturbations-Gary-Beck/dp/1941058701

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 2 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors & Perturbations (Winter Goose Publishing). Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). Blossoms of Decay, Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

Winter Goose Publishing is an independent publisher founded in 2011. We are a royalty-paying publisher dedicated to putting out the best literature in prose, poetry and art; covering a variety of genres. For more information go to: www.wintergoosepublishing.com

Review of my collection Fault Lines by Sam Rose of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine

Fault Lines Review – Sam Rose/Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine
Feb 2017 (Iss 22)

Fault Lines, and this 2016 collection published by Winter Goose tackles
the big issues in the world today – war, terrorism, politics, and homelessness,
to name a few. And although at first the subject matter may sound a little grim,
the poetry is so polished and satisfying to read. My personal favourite is
‘Symphony of the City’, which is the first poem in the book, and beautifully
describes the sounds of urban life.

Not only do the poems in this collection highlight the ‘fault lines’ of our
modern world, but in doing so they serve to make the reader more aware of
current events, and they can inspire the reader to do something to make a
change – however small. And yes, we are all already aware of what’s going on
in the world – war overseas, violence in our own countries, and crime taking
place in our own local communities. But how much attention do we really pay
to the news, and how desensitised have we become to it? If this is all the ‘new
normal’, perhaps we need a wake-up call to remind us that this shouldn’t be
our normal, that the world could be a much better, safer place, and that we
should never stop trying to make it so.

Sure, if you’re looking for a lighter read this might not be the right book to pick
up. But in a world of fake news and alternative facts, if you’d prefer to read
something that’s honest and forthright but written creatively and poetically,
this is for you.