Far From Sudden

One of the most impressive new collections of poetry: Brent Goodman

Review By Grady Harp

Brent Goodman has been around the block even at this young age and his compelling poetry has been widely published and honored. Encountering Brent Goodman for the first time is a rather astonishing experience – his poetry seems to emerge from the soul of one who has more insight into the human condition than most. Perhaps some of the reason his poems find the center of their target is the rather nonchalant manner in which he composes them. Also, having had a brush with the next life – a seeming cardiac arrest at age 37 from which he somehow survived – places his intuition more acutely adjacent to things that really matter. What ever brings him to this place, we are the richer for is gift to share the world as he views it with us. The title is gently introduced in on of his more poignant poems: 

THEN

Far from sudden. Three damn days rubbing
My arm after stairs or cigarettes.

Halo headache jaw pain post push-ups
At the office, quite impossible

Undressed by strangers in the E.R.
So long mignon, martinis, rich life.

I told you nothing. Your dad collapsed
In the lanai before your eyes. Then.

I felt this world returning to stone.
They stuffed my clothes in a plastic bag.

THE GROUND LEFT ME
This morning I had a heart attack,
gurneyed pale and shirtless O2 mask

past my coworkers. I was crying
when I told you `Something’s very wrong’

and you squeezed both my numbing hands
before calling help. Inside MedFlight

the ground left me. Touching down Wausau
they thread the stent in twenty minutes

from groin to heart. You and my parents
hugging in my room. And I’m there too.

There are so many wondrous poems in this collection – POEM FOR PIANO FOUR HANDS, LET ON MAN BE BORN FROM THE MIND OF THE LAST, THE SKY BEHIND US to name only a few – but to grow into the mind and heart of Brent Goodman you must read these for yourself. He lifts us to another plane.

Grady Harp, December 2013

TITLE: FAR FROM SUDDEN
AUTHOR: BRENT GOODMAN
PUBLISHER: BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS
ISBN: 9781937854256

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