Loretta Collins Klobah’s The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman,
a book review by Faizah Tabasamu (Rochelle Ward)
On a pedestal, in the eye of this hurricane of multilingual poetry—“a vibrant blend of English, Spanish, and Patois”--written by Loretta Collins Klobah, womanhood sheds her skin of “concrete and steel.” Sometimes this skin is personal or societal loss, the loss of a lover or husband who left, or the loss of a young child, whose dead body was burrowed through by a motherless bullet. In the poem, “El Velorio, The Wake (1893),” it is a harkening to the Puerto Rican national painting of the same name that had prophesied the “halo of flies” above the sleeping child. Also embedded in this skin, is a fisherman, brutalized by a police officer, who wrestled him to the ground like a fish baited and bleeding from the mouth.
Unadulterated love and dizzying passion are the puppet masters that wind their fingers around the heart strings of the characters that people the five stories in Lasana Sekou’s newly publishedLove Songs Make You Cry – Second Edition. This love and passion drive the characters to what Blair’s father describes as “grave and unmentionable consequences” that cost them their trust, family or even their lives, but sometimes, like the floating sunbeams beneath the canopy of a dense forest, these same characters bask in the faint rays of redemption.