Blossoms of Decay Review by Rajesh Subramanian, Modern Literature Magazine

Evil has been an inescapable part of the human environment since time immemorial. Whether it originates from the Satan or otherwise, its tentacles have held humanity in a tight grip and there seems to be no way out. Men of letters, especially poets have always raised their alarm about this problem and philosophers have spent countless nights brooding over the issue.

It is indeed sad that men are cast against men. Man’s enemy today is not something extraterrestrial or God sent, but man himself. Men in power have set traps to make vulnerable fall into it and play along their evil designs. Countries drunk with power crush helpless nations into submission and servility. Weapons of mass destruction hunt down non-existent weapons of mass destruction and the collateral damage is immeasurable human suffering.

Gary Deck’s poems in this volume capture the decay of civilization, both at the individual level and the societal level. Often, while reading Gary Beck’s poems, one cannot escape remember Charles Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. The flowers of evil are strewn all around us, both rich and poor, mighty and weak. Most of Gary Beck’s poems ( rather, almost all of them) are written in plain simple language. They are simple, straight-forward statements that sound like statement of facts or lines from a newspaper story. They are not adorned with any poetic embellishments. Probably they are intended to make the reader pause and ponder over why the poet had chosen to label simple terse statements as poems. The reader, when he ruminates over the simple statements, starts thinking about the deep social conundrums that the poet wants to paint vividly. When that happens, the poems succeed in their mission.

Consider the below piece:

Media Gifts

The world has always known
violence, murder, war,
even ethnic cleansing,
but rapid transmission of electronic news
constantly reminds us
that danger is present
everywhere we go
and continues to threaten
our frail stability.

Prima facie, there is not much “depth” or “poetic structure” in the above example, other than a strong anguish at the state of social affairs. Most of the poems in this collection fall under the same category, expressing disappointment over the various social and global issues, about how USA is deteriorating in its values, about how wars have displaced people and families, how the governments play truant with peoples’ lives etc. The below given poem also falls under the same category:

Expanding Cemeteries

The graves are getting wider
to accommodate the dead
in permanent resting places,
weighted down by heavy headstones
that keep them from expanding.
Undertaker’s profits increase
from burying the obese
and they bless carbohydrates
as long as there’s enough room
in the congested graveyard
for future arrivals.

The below poem, though “straight-forward” and direct, could also impel the reader to think widely and draw other inferences. Could even lead to philosophical thoughts like men “waiting for the big waves that never come” their way. That’s where poems of this kind achieve their success, when they scrape past their apparent structure and deliver unexpected conclusions.

Surf’s Down

Seduced by glamorous shows
with sexy beach bunnies
surrounding men in wetsuits,
eager Florida surfers,
cognitively challenged
like much of America
from tv overload,
paddle in place
as they wait and wait
for the big waves
that never come.

Gary Becks is a well experienced author with many volumes of work to his credit. The subject volume Blossoms of Decay adds another feather to his cap.

Now I Accuse – Press Release

Now I Accuse
A short story collection by

Gary Beck

For Immediate Release

Diving deep into love, enmity, compassion, and regret, acclaimed poet Gary Beck brings us through the complexities of life with his brilliant collection of short stories, Now I Accuse. As hope-filled dreams collide with cruel reality, some will rise above adversity, some will give under its weight, but most will find a place in between where they can more comfortably discover where they belong in this turbid world.

A crisp, clean slice of the human condition – The Blotter Magazine

Great. We love it – Fabula Argentea

I didn’t want it to end – Clever Magazine

Now I Accuse is a 150 page short story collection. Available in paperback with a retail price of $11.99. ISBN 941058752 and a Kindle for $4.99. Published Through Winter Goose Publishing. Available now through all major retailers. For information or to request a review copy, contact:
jessica@wintergoosepublishing.com

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 12 published chapbooks and 1 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 and 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 (Wordcatcher Publishing). Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. 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, Crumbling Ramparts by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collections include, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications) and. Now I Accuse and other stories (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: Winter Goose Publishing

Blossoms of Decay
A poetry collection by

Gary Beck

For Immediate Release

Direct, cutting, and visceral. Gary Beck takes no prisoneers and writes in an uncompromising style. His subjects include politics, the state of America, and teenage bullying. Love or hate his views, you will certainly know where you stand. His style makes comulsive reading and you will move from poem to poem as if in a tunnel pursued by a runaway train. Be sure to jump clear so you can return to enjoy his writing more deeply. An established and prolific author, Gary has many more titles to come with Wordcatcher Publishing.

Beck writes passionately about his subject matter. He brings poverty, wealth and class
center stage. We are presented with inequities rooted in divisions of class. There is no hiding place, nor mixing of words nor compromise. – Poets Network and Exchange Magazine

Blossoms of Decay is a 136 page poetry book available in paperback with a retail price of $9.99. ISBN 191126561X and also in a Kindle version for $4.99. Published through Wordcatcher Publishing. Available now through all major retailers. For information or to request a review copy, contact:
david@wordcatcher.com

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 12 published chapbooks and 1 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 and 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 (Wordcatcher Publishing). Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. 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, Crumbling Ramparts by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collections include, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications) and. Now I Accuse and other stories (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.

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.
https://wordcatcher.com

Perturbations Review

Perturbations Review – Sam Rose (Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine) Iss 33

Perturbations is the latest offering from New York poet Gary Beck. This full-length poetry collection covers a range of topics, from themes of patriotism in “Pledge” to memory and the passing of time in “Retrieved Moments”. Love, loss, nature and freedom are just a few of the themes you’ll find in this book, and there are a few rhyming pieces in the collection, too, which I found rather pleasing.

Personally preferring the softer and most emotive, “Shock” is one of my favourites. Here’s just part of it:

I say one final word
then we part
and sagging from sorrow,
though part we must,
I walk the hurricane night
unable to touch anyone,
unable to find rest.

You’re likely to find something that speaks to you in this collection, whether it’s an empathetic story of sadness, or poignant social commentary. You may have read more of the latter from Gary Beck in his previous work, such as his collection Fault Lines, which we reviewed in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine Issue 22 in February 2017. However, Perturbations offers more personal, touching poems about love, lust, relationships and sorrow, making this quite a diverse collection.

Perturbations by Gary Beck is available in paperback through all major retailers, and on Kindle. Find out more about Gary at www.garycbeck.com.

Hallowed Be Thy Gun – Press Release


Hallowed Be Thy Gun
A chapbook by

Gary Beck

For Immediate Release
  
Hallowed Be Thy Gun is a long poem in a chapbook format. It starts when a householder does his duty in the French and Indian War. He passes his musket on to succeeding generations, who go to war, face the dramatic changes in America and struggle to preserve their families as life becomes more complicated and demanding.

Hallowed Be Thy Gun is a poetry chapbook published by Atlantean Publishing. The price is £3, £6 outside the U.K. Payable by Paypal or Sterling Check. Contact DJ Tyrer at atlanteanpublishing@hotmail.com for orders

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 and 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), Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions) and Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing, Crumbling Ramparts by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications) and. 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.
 
Atlantean Publishing is an established British small press, publishing short fiction, poetry and some non-fiction pieces, run since 1996 by its founding editor DJ Tyrer. It produces several regular ‘zines and an increasing variety of other publications in a distinctive ‘no-frills’ style, featuring a wide range of authors and contributors from the UK and elsewhere, the small-press scene and beyond.  
             http://atlanteanpublishing.blogspot.com

Robin Goodfellow’s Review of My Book Perturbations

Robin Goodfellow rated it it was amazing on Goodreads
-I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Perturbations, by Gary Beck, is a collection of poetry that details the beautiful, yet shattered portrait that makes up humanity.

The poems discern the seemingly trivial characteristics that life possesses. From an empty pledge of loyalty taken from an unknowing child, to a summer camp specifically designed for torture, Beck quietly illustrates the aspects of what makes us iridescently imperfect. With each poem comes the clear depiction of timeless values that each generation continues to pass down. The experiences we have, from love, to event nostalgia, are illustrated within the these pages that will leave readers astounded.

One of my favorite poems in this book was titled Common Sparrow, a poem about comforting a child, and watching them in a way a mother bird would watch over her tiny sparrow. When I read this, I couldn’t help but remember the times when my baby nephew would sleep in his cradle, or the night when my parents first brought him home from the hospital. He looked so tiny, and I couldn’t help but feel like everything in the world was out to get him. Still, whenever I read this poem, I thought of it as a sort of lullaby, one that reassured me that everything was going to be fine. Just like this poem, the words in this collection provide a gentle, soothing atmosphere that allows the reader time to reflect and ensure that they understood the meaning behind these poems.

Because of this, I would give this collection an overall rating of a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Beck draws from the bittersweet traits of life, if only to weave it into an embroidery of words readers will find enjoyable. I loved this book, and will recommend it to poetry lovers of all ages.

Jessica Bronder’s Review of my book Perturbations

Perturbations by Gary Beck

Evoking concern about disruptions to the desire for a comfortable, prosperous, untroubled life, Perturbations leads us through all its gloriously chaotic uncertainties.

Amazon       Barnes and Noble        Goodreads


Gary Beck

Author’s Bio

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 will be published by Thurston Howl Publications. 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.

Website

My Review

5 stars

Perturbations is a magnificent collection of poems from Gary Beck. The poems are about many things we face in our lives. From birth to death, love and loss, and loneliness. We start with the Pledge of Allegiance and go from there.

Gary Beck has such a way with words that you feel part of every poem. I will be honest, I’m not really a poetry person so there were a couple poems that I had to go back and reread. To think about the whole picture, not just what you see when reading the poem but feel too.

Function speaks of “exuberant spring” and how “I sit on depression bed.” Sanctuary about an apartment where you “take refuge in a secret haven.” A Defeat hits home with “crippled, strength fled, wingless, unable to seek refuge.”

This is a great collection of touching poetry that I strongly recommend checking out. It would be the perfect addition to anyone’s shelves.

I received Perturbations from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.