Review: Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine

Book Cover - Lauren Bacall Shares a LimousineHow could I resist a poetry collection titled Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine? Even the table of contents is a joy to read. Included are:

* “Pantoum for Mata Hari”
* “Lady Godiva Reminisces”
* “Before Her Round-the-World Flight Amelia Visits With a Psychic”
* “Fay Wray Tweets atop the Empire State Building”
* “Georgia O’Keefe Hitches a Ride to Abiquiu”
* “Emily Dickinson Introduces Her Blog”

The writer, Susan J. Erickson, is also a collage artist, and she assembled these poems with a keen eye for texture and unexpected juxtapositions. Tweets, blogs, recipes, and diary entries stand alongside tanka poems and sonnets narrated by a chorus of women’s voices.

Edna St. Vincent Millay says, “Never speak in that sick voice / monotonous as a rocking chair.” Frank Lloyd Wright’s lover, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, explains, “I do not want my children / to see through the dirty windows / of my words.” Elizabeth Barrett Tweets, “Didn’t @WillShakespeare call brevity the soul // of wit?” In the title poem, Lauren Bacall describes a ride to the afterlife in a limousine she shares with Robin Williams: “We lean a bit. Our shoulders touch.”

Moving from lighthearted to poignant, the speakers spill out startling details from their lives. I’m cheering all the way.

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