Friday, January 08, 2010

Book Review from author, Stephen Earley Jordan ll

"Liquid Lunch" is a blues-inspired debut collection of poetry by Stephen Bess. Successfully sprinkling dialect of Black Americans, Bess covers topics such as spirituality, human relations, traditions, and how our lives intertwine with music.

Bess successfully tackles a male's sexual prowessness and how his 'old lady' handles him in "Here's the Situation". He states, "I just wish my 'old lady would cut me some slack / 'cause I just met this sweet, fine thing. . ." Bess cleverly challenges the reader with Black folklore in somber "Death Bells"--a highly effective, brilliantly repetitive poem detailing the connection between life and death. Poem "Sweet and Steady"--a definite read, and personal favorite--instantly pulls you in with the narrator's tongue-in-cheek, and appropriately teasing words.

"Liquid Lunch" is serious, humorous, and entertainingly completed with musicality. This collection captures Black South and, like the Blues, represents how Black Americans make the best out of uncomfortable situations. A definite must-read book. For a complementary book, I'd suggest Nikki Giovanni's "Blues: For All the Changes".

author of "Beyond Bougie" and "Cold, Black, and Hungry"
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