social commentary, slices of life, in eighty-one poems – four stars.
For a cynical view of America at war, turn to Recruit. For additional social commentary, turn to Recurrent Haze, where you will find this: “The passage of time /deludes all of us.”
Beck can be touchingly personal, as in Voices of the Dead II, where we find this: “I think of my grandmother /who I never listened to /when she was alive, /always too impatient /to appreciate her. /Now I’m at a crossroads /between criminal acts/ and the need for something else, …”
Back to cynicism: turn to Charitable Contributions. Beck is not charitable to hypocrites.
For a bizarre and personal twist on religion, turn to Pet Cemetery. No spoilers here.
Beck can be deeply personal, as in Emergency Exit, which begins innocently thus: “I visited a friend /in the hospital, /where everyone I saw /looked ravaged by disease.” That’s not a spoiler, that’s only the beginning.
Social commentary is a recurring theme in this book, as in American Recession, which includes this: “no receipts for the funds /better spent at home, /there are no expressions of gratitude /for sacrifices made,…” (This reminds me of Robert Frost’s The Bonfire: War is for everyone, for children too.)
In Civil Rights for Witches I was reminded of a French philosopher who pointed out ‘equality’: it is illegal for boththe rich andthe poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal bread. Beck turns this idea sideways, but the characterization of persecution is similar, and Beck is dead on.
There is a lot of poignant social commentary here, including For Whom We Mourn V, and Voices of the Dead VI and VII.
I have other favourites in this volume, but the above should give you a feel for what’s on offer here. Beck is very good. Four stars plus for sure. Your personal rating may be higher.
Kindle Book Review Team member.
A poetry collection by
For Immediate Release
Touching, emotional, inspirational, educational – Lost Tower Publications
Debbie Broadhead’s Review of Clown Show
and other stories
For Immediate Release
A young man comes to New York City for a career in theatre. He earns a living teaching drama and performing as a silent clown. He inherits an abandoned puppy and that starts a complicated relationship between man and dog, explored in zany and literary stories.
Great tale – Sliptongue Magazine
A unique and unexpected piece that seems to live in its own intriguing world – Wings of Icarus Journal
A delightful romp – Vincent Brothers Review
Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories is a 172 page short story collection in paperback with a price of $11.99 ISBN 9781912056828. Kindle version for $4.99. Published by Wordcatcher Publishing. Now available through all major retailers. For information or to request a review copy, contact:
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. He has 14 published chapbooks. 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 and Rude Awakenings (Winter Goose Publishing) The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance(Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections(Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pigs Productions). As part of the continuing series, ‘Stand to Arms Marines’, Gnome on Pigs Productions will publish the third book in the series, Raise High the Walls. Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance and Flare Up will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. Extreme Change will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His short story collections include, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. 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 lives in New York City.
Wordcatcher Publications. Indie publisher – born in Wales, serving the world. Authors are at the heart of everything – without their words we’d have nothing to publish.