Colin Gilbert deftly handles the interplay between public and private spaces in this fast-moving collection of poetry from Scribble Fire Press. His disarming humor and willingness to approach the human condition from a myriad of angles creates a type of roller coaster the reader never grows bored from. And the dismount at the end - so intimate and full of grace.
From the back cover:
In The Mattress Parlor, his debut collection of poetry, Colin Gilbert illuminates the interconnectedness that permeates the clutter of contemporary life in order to expose the human condition in its ever-changing environment. Gilbert blends powerful insights and vivid imagery with a variety of voices to highlight the complexities at play in the everyday world. His broad perspective and keen attention to detail enable him to navigate rapid shifts between topic and scope while the sincerity of each poem strengthens the story Gilbert is composing.
"Girls discovered cutting boards in wrists
where jealousy would grow. Boys
unearthed empty liquor stores
from stomachs that would foster lust."
The Mattress Parlor becomes a wholly-tangible enunciative space. Each turn blurs lines of duality. Political experience harbors humanity at its core. Personal recounts feel larger than the individual. Even in haunting recollections, history retains its wit.
A small town lives in The Mattress Parlor. By positioning himself inside this place, Gilbert creates a uniquely intimate experience that extends far beyond the last line.
"Mountain ancestors recognize my city,
her face surrendering to sleep.
She dreams she is a forest,
or at least a town proud of the skins
it has shed."
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