. . . details . . . by Valeri Beers
Thomas Hill Publishing
Reviewed by April Salzano
In her small but weighty chapbook, “…details…,” forthcoming from Thomas Hill Publishing in September 2014 and available atAmazon.com, Valeri Beers tackles many “big” themes: love, its “alchemy” and “subtle mojo,” the pull it has both toward and away from another, the discord of gender roles, and the nature of inspiration.
Often employing a nursery rhyme quality, Beers is able to surprise us with her use of irony, like in “How To Be A Real Woman,” a mocking examination of woman as an accessory to man.
Through lines that trickle down the page, where often a single word line carries a narrative moment out of the realm of simple and into that of ambiguity and tense duplicity, Beers relies heavily on rhythm and sound, as well as internal and external rhyme to explore complex themes with illusively simply language. Beers demonstrates with stunningly clear diction the cathartic appeal of writing both thematically and linguistically. Creating art has the power to heal us, and perspective has the ability to recreate perfect memories, to “square” nostalgia, and to make us look back on a moment even before it has fully passed. Equally important to this collection is the notion that love is an equation that ends up “leaving nothing” as a sum, and that most of this, from the daily anxiety of possibly being in the wrong classroom, to the bigger moments of losing a loved one to manic depression, or the celebration of the “tiny life” of a child, is all unfortunately irrelevant, but words, and the details they convey, will withstand and hold power even as our human spirits remain “uncertain embers/burning/high & hot/flaring up/then/fizzling out.”