THE LINEUP Poems On Crime Issue 03 / 2010
Reviewed by Catfish McDaris
The Lineup is a fine collection of [nineteen] punch you in the gut poets. They come at you from so many angles, it takes a second and third reading to catch all the hard lines. The four editors—Gerald So, Sarah Cortez, R. Narvaez, and Anthony Rainone—work together well, choosing crime from every walk of life. The first poem by Sarah Cortez, a Texas cop, hooked and scared me. It was titled "Ride-along", about a young girl doing a beginner’s ride with a seasoned cop. Things go wrong and get violent. My young Latina daughter is doing ride-alongs now in the Latino areas in Milwaukee. This poem disturbed me. The makings of any good read are the amount of emotion evoked.
There’s a whiff of serial killer in The Lineup, but after all the movies and television it, doesn’t seem as gruesome as it should be. Since I now live in the home [state] of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein, cannibals are like corn candy. Larry D. Thomas’ poems are great...
James W. Hall’s "Decomposing Women" was an episode of C.S.I. Maybe it's me watching too much television and my wife solving all the crimes before me? Michael A. Flanagan’s words were stupendous. Henry Chang's "Takeout (as we roll)" was Chinatown steel right to the heart. [His] "Chasing the dragon," I could relate to, unfortunately. James M. McGowan’s "Running for Home" and "Teenage Sniper" reminded me of what good storytellers Irishmen usually are.
David S. Pointer’s "Certain Methods" brought me back in time to my military service. These words jumped off the page with Semper Fidelis adrenalin[...]Kristine Ong Muslim’s prose poem is sheer terror and bloody frightening.
Anne Frasier’s "Home" is a bit Jack London & Poeish. Amy MacLennan's "A Life of Vice" I could smell the dirt and itch. Wallace Stroby's "Independence Day, 1976" shared a sad dream of reverie.
This a super collection of words about crime. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 9. This is my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.
McDar3 AT aol DOT com
[I'd like to comment that James W. Hall's "Decomposing Women" was reprinted with permission and acknowledgment from his collection The Lady from the Dark Green Hills, published in 1976—pre-dating the C.S.I. phenomenon. —Gerald]