Friday, March 23, 2012

Book review: Rapid Eye Movement, by J.E. Stanley

Rapid Eye Movement is a chapbook of speculative poems by J.E. Stanley, who has also written other books as well as co-authored a book of cinquains with Joshua Gage.  The book is 20 pages long with 17 poems, and it's well worth the price.

The book includes short poems, including a couple of speculative haiku and a cinquain, as well as longer works. There's even a ghazal (which if you've never heard of it before is a pretty cool form).  The poems are all high-caliber, and many of them have appeared in magazines like Asimov's, ChiZine, Scifaikuest, and Star*Line.  Three of the poems were nominated for Rhysling Awards.

The book leads off with "City of Bridges," a very cool poem with great imagery.  It's one you could read over and over again.  "Pattern Recoginition" is also nicely written, with a good ending.  "Urban Surrender" is one of my favorite poems of the book, one that really draws you into the poem.  "Diner at the End of the World" is a great way to finish off the book, and the poem itself has a strong ending.

Many of the poems in this book have a darkly speculative tinge to them.  There's some science fiction and some horror, and much that can't be classified.  The chapbook itself is very nicely produced, with a heavy cover and thick paper, and plenty of white space throughout.

Rapid Eye Movement is available online from Crisis Chronicles for $5 plus $1 for shipping.  If you're a fan of Stanley's other work (either his previous books or individual poems that you've read in magazines) or if you just like good, dark speculative poetry, this book is for you.

6 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like a good one. I'll check it out. J Bruce Fuller got some good news about a couple of his poems being read by Louisiana's Poet laureate. I saw it on Facebook.

Greg said...

pretty cool! he definitely keeps at it.

J.E. Stanley said...

Thanks so much for your kind words. You rock!

Jim
J.E. Stanley

Greg said...

Sorry it took so long to get the review up. Thanks for the chance to read the book!

John Burroughs said...

Thank you so much, Greg! J.E. is a treasure, and Crisis Chronicles Press is most proud and pleased to have the opportunity to publish Rapid Eye Movement

Greg said...

John, it's a great collection, and very nicely produced too.