A review of my novel by Jendi Reiter on Amazon.
In his introduction to this volume (which is actually an excerpt from “Raw Realism A Poetry Manifesto”), Mr. Beck lauds the French symbolist poets and the Beats as groundbreakers in free verse. These frontrunners of their forms were never appreciated until after their times had passed. I think it is fitting that this poet gives a well-deserved nod to the greats since his work, like theirs, shows that the poet takes risks in his writing…risks which he pulls off successfully.
This volume of poems is comprised largely of poems concerning social commentary of our times. He shows us how man is more concerned about egos and material possessionsthan mankind’s well-being (“Surrender”), (“The Way of The World”). In “Loss”, he says that “hopes have been curdled by too much desire for material things.”
He gives us a realistic yet bleak outlook of what technology and nuclear capability have done to civilization and human existence, not merely for shock value, but for a genuine wake-up call to all of us who care about life on this planet. In “Evolution”, he tells us that we are “a civilization gone entirely mad” but that all is not hopeless. If we still maintain faith, we can hold out against injustice (“Tyranny”), (“Eternal Struggle”), and in“The 20th Century,” the speaker reminds us that it was “the most inventive century,” yet ironically the same one which has enabled war and mass destruction.
All is not so bleak in Mr. Beck’s poems. There is optimism in “Youthful Song” in which he is “led by newfound power I sing of spring and vision greatness” while in the past, he “only gradually saw” such a vision. But we are cautioned, because in the poet’s view, redemption is not to be found in education, of which he is critical in “Adult Education,” citing “student’s vacuity” and “teacher’s indifference, the waste of passion.”
The social commentary motif is tempered well with pieces that seem more personal in nature, such as “Uplift,” “Inamorata,” “Seduced,” “Inertia” and “Flashback”. Thematically, this gives the reader a nice juxtaposition to those poems that carry a more foreboding tone.
Such a balance provides the reader with an overarching volume that covers topically important issues, while at the same time allowing a glimpse into a poet’s innermost feelings.
By Jill Lapin-Zell
Author of Vanishing Into Life
Here, in Gary Beck’s plotting of poetry, Virtual Living, his modern look at current living modes and methods that come to flood our life lines, each page with its uniform layout. It has newspaper headlines, a drawing-up of concrete structures, concrete living, concrete beliefs that broadcast the stilted, clinical life about us, the life that lies ahead for those of us unable to feel emotion, use it, embrace it with open arms.
Heed the alert. Be sure to see what is conveniently planned, projected, placed about us with stifling cement block structures.
Hear me: hear his words: hear what he places between the lines, neat asides for your discovery. Believe they are coming, what he declares them to bring if there’s no emotion, the mind broken from impairment, broken from place, free to feel the edges all the way around.
Alison McBain of Bewildering Stories Magazine has reviewed Tremors, my poetry collection:
A poetry collection by
For Immediate Release
Poet Gary Beck’s new collection Virtual Living is a revealing glimpse of how our relationship with the world around us is an ever-evolving experience. Focusing on how humans relate to the world via artificial means, as well as self-imposed affected mechanisms. Beck looks at the concept of living virtually from all angles and tells his story with just enough abstractness to move readers to choose how to inhabit their own worlds. A peek into our world in ways most of us forget to see, these poems will shift any reader’s perspective of how they relate to others, technology and the world.
“Varied, inspiring and insightful – Nous Magazine
“We love your poems – Poetry Pacific
“Amazingly captivating and incredibly diverse – Kind of a Hurricane Press
Virtual Living is a 116 page poetry book. Available in paperback with a retail price of $7.99.
Published through Thurston Howl Publications. Available now through all major retailers. For information or to request a review copy, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (Winter Goose Publishing). Perturbations, 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). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions) and 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.