From poignant memories of her parents, to watching her sister die, LaForge paints a breathtaking picture of life’s Entirety with scenes that swing from a hygiene-challenged lover to a slumber party to her own profile on Facebook... ‘With Apologies’ is an explosion of emotions, both grisly and exquisite.
Reading this excellent book of poems constructed from grammatical sentences was like walking straight out of the house to the corner, my head bare, the front door probably open behind me...
The images in After Voices are at once ghostly and welcoming; as the deaf dance to echoes of bells and drums, LaForge writes of the sustaining power of lemons, meditates on the sight of freshly poured asphalt, and sees a peach in the eyes of a passenger on a long drive in northern California. It is with such images that LaForge crafts a dense vision of growing up American, and helps make After Voices an honest and insightful collection of poetry.
From nighttime radio shows where deejays held séances for Jim Morrison to stockyards where the cows went on forever, this beautifully-brilliant book is ablaze with savvy, style, and tender insights.
Her ability to deftly draw a character with a few words and telling details, as well her word choice and overall conceptualizations makes a reader stop and pause and reflect after almost every phrase in every poem. Each poem in this collection invites has both a surface appeal which draws a reader in and a depth that rewards further readings.
Jane Rosenberg LaForge has re-invented the elegy almost as a novel, taking the reader on a journey from the desert to the ocean, from grandparent to parent to sister and to child, from life through sickness and death. With language both gorgeous and everyday, this is poetry of witness and intimacy and relation.
Jane Rosenberg LaForge is a poet and writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter: @JaneRLaForge. And like her author page on Facebook.