Ron Lucas' Mother Goose Market
There are works of poetry and fiction that emerge, full-blown, under extreme circumstance. These events inspire artists to data mine their psyches for inspiration. Quite often, an artist is not prepared for what lies beneath the polite society of their consciousness, while others face it unflinchingly, as in Ron Lucas' first chapbook, Mother Goose Market ( © 2017 Lummox Press).
Lucas, a self-professed autodidact, credits The Great Recession for spawning his first collection. Lucas, who's been writing poetry for decades, lost "my car, my job, my place... and my mind." He states, during this time, he stopped writing. A few years later, he found himself exploring his childhood, about which he'd never written, and Mother Goose Market grew organically from that process. (Note: Mother Goose Market is a real place, and is regarded as a beloved landmark by the residents of Hazard, KY).
Mother Goose Market, as one might expect, would employ simple poems infused with clever meter and rhyme to instill in children the consequences of not conforming to a moral society. Stylistically, Mother Goose Market does the opposite; while most of the poems are short, they are not clever, or endearing. Instead, they are direct, visual, and visceral. Lucas explores the themes of spousal abuse ("Greendale"), the long-term effects of PTSD ("Brut 33", "Whipping Boy"), the legacy of inter-generational family violence ("1. Baloney, 2. Bread, 3. Cereal, 4. Milk"), the conflicted love a child feels for an abusive parent ("Happy Father's Day"), and ableism ("Less Jacob, More the Latter"), among others. For a 30 page book, Mother Goose Market is a short, heavy-handed read, but it deserves repeated reading to appreciate the compact power of Lucas's poetry, and the way the narrative emerges, stronger, with repeated reading, as in the poem "Red '98 Escort" (pg 16):
She should have screamed
But she made
Not a sound.
When I saw her face
In the halls
I nearly wept.
I swear to all the Gods
I do not believe in,
All the Gods
That such things
I thought the sonofabitch
Across the hall
And a red ’98 Escort
Was all she had
I'm glad, though I wasn't comfortable reading Mother Goose Market, to recommend to readers an honest volume of poetry in a time where literature is being put through the grist mill of political correctness by a functionally literate public. Real literature does not exist to make peace with the reader, and the truth, especially the ownership of personal truth, is what separates the sleepers from those who are truly awake.
Mother Goose Market, © 2017 Lummox Press (www.lummoxpress.com), ISBN 978-0-9984580-0-7, 30 pages, $12.
Marie C Lecrivain
Marie C Lecrivain is the executive editor and publisher of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, a jewelry designer, and a writer in residence at her apartment.
Her prose and poetry have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including: Edgar Allen Poetry Journal, The Los Angeles Review, Nonbinary Review, Gargoyle, Spillway, States of the Union, Orbis, A New Ulster, and others.
Marie's newest poetry chapbook, Fourth Planet From the Sun, will be published in 2018 by Rum Razor Press. She's an associate fiction/essay editor for The Good Works Review, and the editor of several anthologies including Octavia's Brood: Words and Art inspired by O.E. Butler (© 2014 Sybaritic Press), and Rubicon: Words and Art Inspired by Oscar Wilde's "De Profundis" (© 2015 Sybaritic Press).
Marie's avocations include photography; meditation; Libers CCXX and XV; marmosets; Christopher Eccleston, H.P. Lovecraft, and Sean Bean (depending on what day of the week it is); her co-owned cat Guinness; misfit and vintage dolls; the number seven, and sensual tributes upon her neck from male artists-except male poets, who only write about it.
"Writing is like having sex with a beautiful freak; adventurous and uncomfortable to the extreme." - m. lecrivain 2004