Five Poems of Social Protest published at at I Am Not a Silent Poet

https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/?s=Snyder&submit=Search

Photo by Victor Hernández taken at the Black Orchid Lounge in El Paso,  Texas September 22, 2014.

Photo by Victor Hernández taken at the Black Orchid Lounge in El Paso, Texas September 22, 2014.

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El Paso Times Review of my book, Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal

http://www.elpasotimes.com/living/ci_27760627/through-grieving-process-step-by-step-and-poem

Through the grieving process, step by step and poem by poem

March 21, 2015

El Paso Times

Donna J. Snyder’s new work, “Poemas Ante El Catafalco: Grief and Renewal” (Chimbarazu Press), is a work about intimate desolation and poignant recovery.

The poems document Snyder’s travel through the hard processes of grieving after the passing of her beloved, the renowned El Paso artist Mario Colin.

Much as in her first collection, “I Am South,” Snyder uses straightforward imagery and unpretentious phrasing to drive her work from start to finish. It is the power of this simplicity and knack for a good turn of phrase that invites the reader to step inside her journey.

Snyder does not overwhelm, but rather coaxes one along with melodic wording, vivid imagery and religious symbolism.

In her poem “Lamentation”:

I am the stigmata in Jesus’ hands & feet,

Purple flesh a cup for putrefaction.

I am the green odor emanating from his god’s wounds.

Jesus has delivered his painful flesh and ravished spirit

Into the faithful arms of Morfeo.

Sleep is his only friend,

Oblivion his only love.

I am the despair that compels his hand

To mutilate his own flesh.

I am the mutilated flesh.

I am the sad blood singing him to sleep.

I am the sad blood.

I am the blood on Jesus’ hands.

I am the lonely earth

Beneath his feet.

In each poem, Snyder subtly shifts between the mystical and the commonplace, between the abstract and the detailed, between shifting moments of anxiety and rebirth, in what seems like an effortless and seamless flow.

In “We got married on Día de los Muertos,” Snyder superbly blends all her elements:

We got married on Day of the Dead,

We clung to each other like tattoos,

Calaveras dancing in wedding clothes.

Roses hung across the breast of death.

The smell of dampness dissipated.

Darkness became light.

Each poem is a complete work of art that can stand alone.

Snyder has also mastered the short poem, streaming her imageries, line by line, like counterpoint melodies playing off each other; very haiku-like. In “Green is a fine way”:

A mockingbird sings through the humid evening,

The smell of oleander dizzies the dancers into silence.

There is a magic door in a leaf-crept wall, green with portent.

Only the gravest ill can justify such anguish.

The way to the other side is through the ancient door.

Green is a fine way to end one’s days.

At times, “Grief and Renewal” reads like a poetic novella, bringing the reader, poem by poem, along a sequential journey of healing. Snyder’s new work is risky in its edginess with the use of such dark thematic material. Again, nothing is overplayed.

If poets, traditionally, have one, or perhaps even two, defining works, “Grief and Renewal” certainly ranks as a seminal work for Snyder. Her first work, “I Am South,” has an earthy quality and a professional feel to it. “I Am South” is a good and competent work. However, “Grief and Renewal” packs a hard punch and flirts with greatness.

After reading “Grief and Renewal,” well, count me as a fan.

Lawrence Barrett is an El Paso poet and musician.

Poemas ante el Catafalco:  Grief and Renewal Cover art is

Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal
Cover art is “Angel in Decline,” by Victor Hernández

My poem The Crisis in Physics in VEXT Magazine, with art by Reiner Langer

http://vextmagazine.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-crisis-in-physics-by-donna-snyder.html?m=1

Einstein’s failed search for the Theory of Everything A truth that mathematically reflects the universe Those poor Platonists so sure that numbers and equations are the true reality behind this pathetic reality we call here and now The ideal realm of which we mere psyches sense nothing but flickers and shadows  Those special minds Their beautiful equations bring us multiplicities  Multiverses and the immensity of black holes’ negativity  A string that leads from this umbilicus mundi to that where sometimes a pipe is not just a pipe And time is not just a moment gone faster than the length of one’s lament

No experiments demonstrate a + b = c because there is no absolute The one thing Einstein could take pleasure in knowing was that he was right about that one thing  But was he really?  Or is it all just psychology, just another construct? That arrow shot from the back seat of the celestial omnibus arrives later than the one liberated from the hood  At once an ornament and a memory
The answers are in the stars after all Relativity’s proof  Like the comparative thickening principle of corn starch or flour from wheat  The difference between pudding and roux  Without the attentive spoon all is scorched  Not even the dogs will eat it  There is no imaginary time when stirring the pot  Once burned it’s done  No way back from black
If Einstein could not solve this problem of the now then even less can I a mathless victim of uncertainty’s principle  I can’t see direction and speed at the same time  I am just one example of indeterminancy  The observer always changes the observed  Ask an honest social scientist if you can find one
Escape from the easy comfort of Ptolemy  Embrace the fact that all truths are truncated  There is no escape from the passing of time
While drunk on youth behind us the mighty all is gone
OHRENSAUSEN 44 ( DAS LEBEN  Anfang oder Ende  Kraft )  by Reiner Langer

OHRENSAUSEN 44 ( DAS LEBEN Anfang oder Ende Kraft )
by Reiner Langer

My review of collection of short stories by Xánath Caraza published in Queen Mob’s Teahouse

Lawrence Barrett’s review of Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal

https://www.facebook.com/SlimGizzardz?fref=photo

Slim Gizzards Poetry Review

Review: Poemas Ante El Catafalco: Grief and Renewal; by Donna J. Snyder; Chimbarazu Press; NY; 2014; $16.00. Reviewed by Lawrence Barrett

Donna J. Snyder’s new work, Poemas Ante El Catafalco: Grief and Renewal, is a work about intimate desolation, and, poignant recovery. Snyder travels through the hard processes of grieving due to the passing of her beloved, Mario Colin, renowned El Paso artist and local legend. Much like her first work, I Am South, Snyder uses straightforward imagery and unpretentious phrasing to drive her work from start to finish. It is the power of this simplicity and a knack for a good turn of phrase that invites the reader to step inside her journey of Grief and Renewal and experience a sensitivity of expression that exists solely in the travail of somber aftermath. Snyder does not overwhelm but rather coaxes one along with melodic wording, vivid imagery and religious symbolism:
Lamentation
I am the stigmata in Jesus’ hands & feet,
Purple flesh a cup for putrefaction.
I am the green odor emanating from his god’s wounds.
Jesus has delivered his painful flesh and ravished spirit
Into the faithful arms of Morfeo.
Sleep is his only friend,
Oblivion his only love.

I am the despair that compels his hand
To mutilate his own flesh.
I am the mutilated flesh.
I am the sad blood singing him to sleep.
I am the sad blood.
I am the blood on Jesus’ hands.
I am the lonely earth
Beneath his feet.

In each poem Snyder subtly shifts between the mystical and the commonplace; between the abstract and the detailed; between shifting moments of anxiety and rebirth in what seems like an effortless and seamless flow. “We got married on Dia de los Muertos,” Snyder superbly blends all her elements:
We got married on Day of the Dead,
We clung to each other like tattoos,
Calaveras dancing in wedding clothes.
Roses hung across the breast of death.
The smell of dampness dissipated.
Darkness became light.

Each poem is a complete work of art that can stand alone. Snyder has also mastered the short poem, streaming her imageries, line by line, like counterpoint melodies playing off each other; very haiku-like.
Green is a fine way

A mockingbird sings through the humid evening,
The smell of oleander dizzies the dancers into silence.
There is a magic door in a leaf-crept wall, green with portent.

Only the gravest ill can justify such anguish.
The way to the other side is through the ancient door.
Green is a fine way to end one’s days.

At times Grief and Renewal reads like a poetic novella, bringing the reader, poem by poem, along a sequential journey of healing. Snyder’s new work is risky in its edginess with the use of such dark thematic material. Again, nothing is overplayed. If poets, traditionally, have one, or perhaps even two, defining works, Grief and Renewal certainly ranks as a seminal work for Snyder. Her first work, I Am South, has an earthy quality and a professional feel to it. I Am South a good and competent work. However, Grief and Renewal packs a hard punch and flirts with greatness. After reading Grief and Renewal, well, count me a fan.

Catafalco_Cove final

Review of I Am South by Lawrence Barrett

Lawrence Barrett reviewed I Am South when it was released as a chapbook in 2010.  Now Virgogray Press has reissued it as a perfect bound paperback book.

http://slimgizzardz.blogspot.com/2012/09/lawrence-barrett-review-of-i-am-south.html

Donna Snyder: I am South