Review of Resonance (Gary Beck)

A Few Hot Air Balloons

It is in poems like “Old Age” where Beck’s disillusionment poetry strikes new blows against the comportment of modern ignorance:

“Images in the glass

provoke unhidden derision

sparkling with kindless delight

at failure as drab as age,

posturing a weak reflection,

lasting as long as joy.”

Unfortunately, these hot air balloons of literary splendor suffuse a manuscript mostly occupied with clouds, murky ghosts of things potentially misattributable to any American dissatisfied with the bleakness residual to existential modern life.

Pearls exist, sparkling stars in a galaxy of pages, such as the poem “Severance” that says, “remote as distant stars / that witness fading love, / light two cigarettes / and dream alone.” But it often felt as if my telescope browsed many star systems before coming home with light. While I could easily see a few poems gaining anthologization for due reading by the nation’s finest eyes, the wholeness doesn’t stand the way collections should.


Exploring themes such as love, lust, dissatisfaction, and modern isolation, the voice remains placid too often to yeast my blood in the way effective poetry ought. If you can excuse the floppy metaphor, Resonance resembles a can of mixed nuts. Sometimes you find a cashew. Most of the time, peanuts.

Resonance is published by Dreaming Big Publications.


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