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December 31, 2018 / barton smock

{ review by A.H. Lewis of Crystal Stone’s ~Knock-Off Monarch~ }

ISACOUSTIC*

knockoffKnock-Off Monarch
poems by Crystal Stone
Dawn Valley Press (2018)

~

Knock-Off Monarch is a poetry collection for the visceral and the shifting, those who are lost and those who wish to find themselves. There are themes of nature evoked through the very title itself; images of southern living as someone from the “nawth” with descriptions of Mississippi convenience stores and conversations; religion with modern twists with titles like “My Family as Disciples at the Last Supper” and “Moses and Zipporah Attend a Roller Derby Game,” to name a few. Stone’s experience as a young woman navigating the tumults of becoming her own person, with femininity and queerness awkwardly holding hands as her sexual and self-identity are explored in her first poem, “First Impressions,” which proudly states, “I first admitted I was queer to a black woman.” The otherness in us seeks out the acceptance that which is “other” around…

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