Friday, October 3, 2014

On "Sudden Loss" by Rick Blum

I decide to start a new blog. I don't know what to blog about. I remember, from googling my dead name millions of times, that someone (I don't even know who!) once reviewed one of my poems on their blog. I decide that might be a good premise for my own blog. Review poems from recent literary journals, I said. It'll make things less about you, I said, and more about art. Plus you'll be supporting independent publishing, I said. I had little indication of the emotional roller-coaster on which I was about to embark.

"Sudden Loss," which appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Boston Literary Magazine, is a cruel poem. In fact, it is the poetic equivalent of a psychopath who blackmails you and threatens to kill your entire family as it tortures you psychologically at gun point, moves you to the brink of sobbing, brings you to your knees and points the gun right at your face. And as you scream "No! Please no!", a little flag comes out of the gun that says BANG. He was never serious; it was just a joke. And then you retrace the whole day, and realize the clues had been there the whole time, right in front of your face. How could I have been so dumb? you ask. He said "Let's play a game" several times.

Honestly I'm not even mad. Or maybe I am, but I'll get over it. This poem proves the axiom that you will never have the same experience as the first time you read a poem. Oh, yeah. It takes it to the extreme. I love extremes. More poems like this, please!

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