Mary Kasimor

A Review of William Allegrezza's Stone & Type, Cedar

William Allegrezza
Stone & Type, Cedar
Lavender Ink
ISBN: 978-1-944884-67-3
86 pages

William Allegrezza’s recent collection of poetry, Stone & Type, Cedar, is an exploration of what humans—and other living things—have left within our ability to continue to exist. He also explains, using his poetry and the subtle almost stripped down words, that everything that once was alive is locked into stone, and is revealed through stone. Allegrezza gives the readers an examination of this clairvoyant beauty through echoing the memories of what there once was before housing tracts and shopping malls. His description of living emptiness reminds me of when I was a child and I would lie in the empty fields listening to the grasshoppers and bees co-existing next to the wild flowers in the summer heat. Of course, now we have air conditioners to keep us cool and non-existent fields for thought.

Allegrezza’s poems spill over with the beauty of fragmented memory. In his poem, “of our time,” he speaks of change: if (spoken/above the machine noise...but change—it/is always around us/but i suspect i/will die without/it (page 13). He reminds us that as we look inward, we also look outward. In his poetry, Allegrezza tells us that the words we speak and write take us into a timeless space that we live in. The poems have a quiet and simple perfection, and the words reflect the ghosts of chance and change. The poem, “don’t mind the spinning,” begins “I am attuned for once/to treat a person as a shifting ritual consequence/ and to find/a space to reconstruct the/sentence for now” (page 51). This, I believe, is the beauty of the truly spiritual. This collection of poetry is not rigidly kept to a one-dimensional understanding but keeps changing with nuance and meaning.

I read Allegrezza’s poems as written by a person who is carrying on the traditions of Emerson’s intuitive philosophy of transcendentalism, with its interpretation of nature and its sacred use of language. Allegrezza uses the plainest and most simple of language, and the words are also part of how he observes nature. His choice of words also reflects the Platonic understanding of form. In the poem “lexical” he says “I am/I am/forgetting to pass the words/over to you” (page 30). It is an explanation (perhaps) of how we see our world and its existence when words are no longer a reflection of nature. Or they become parts of the advertising language which only conjures up clever meanings for desiring “products.” However, Plato gives human beings the intention of eternal meaning with the words that are in the poems of “prairie self” and “Place, word, work” in the words : “the prairie is a place to listen/with green absence” (page 54), and “you have/taken words as a place (page 80).

Stone & Type, Cedar is a work of eternal meaning that is slowly reflecting itself, and it is a poetry of words reflecting the subtlest of change through our experiences.

Mary Kasimor has been writing poetry for many years. Her poetry has been published in journals, including Word For/Word, Touch the Donkey, Posit, Human Repair Kit, Arteidolia (collaboration with Susan Lewis), and Otoliths. Her recent poetry collections are The Landfill Dancers (BlazeVox Books 2014), Saint Pink (Moria Books 2015), The Prometheus Collage (Locofo Press 2017), and Nature Store (Dancing Girl Press 2017). She has a new book out published by BlazeVox Books, entitled Drink Me. She is also a reviewer of many small press poetry collections.
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