Honey and Junk
Dana Goodyear
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Buy *Honey and Junk: Poems* online

Honey and Junk: Poems

Dana Goodyear
W.W. Norton
71 pages
April 2005
rated 5 of 5 possible stars
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Dana Goodyear's writing stings - bold, fearless, a quick jab under the flesh, drawing fresh blood, because real life includes pain.

"Mother was never in the same room with any of us.
I think she was a hostess, in which case I should say,
Thank you for having me." (County Line Road)
There is nothing as satisfying as the well-written poem, the rush of comprehension that this poet delivers page after page. This remarkable collection demands respect; for one quick moment everything is clear, the universe exposed, shocking, painful and tender. Language is magical in gifted hands, both lyrical and haunting. Goodyear lets her genie out of the bottle, intentionally, as willful as a wild child, as precise as a surgeon:
"life after death fingernails unfolding
in the last mute wave of growing old." (Old Saybrook)
Like great art, poetry is subject to interpretation, and these concise poems speak the language of the beholder. Certain phrases ring familiar in the subconscious. Although the author is young, her gift is more than precocious; rather, Goodyear deftly manages the clumsy, inexplicable emotions that gather in unexpected formations, the senseless rendered sensible, lifting the surface to disclose the bubbling stew of the mind. This poet's words demand an audience. Raise the lid of this Pandora's box and see what baleful surprises are in store.
"Is this more like a tripwire
or a fuse,
If I handle it right
may I keep you?" (Message)
Change is unavoidable, as is pain, these poems filled with a sensual awareness, shifting memories, deep and inevitable loss, life on life's terms. If you love words, trust the sleight-of-hand of this poet, youthful yet ageless, painful yet precious as a last breath.
"It doesn't take a genius to say
Get out while you can.
It takes an optimist." (Safe House III)

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Luan Gaines, 2005

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