"Flamenco Sketches" by Loren Kleinman

I know a lot of people tend to decry the internet and social media in general these days. “There’s so much garbage out there”, they say - and I suppose that’s true to a certain degree; but then again, it all depends on what you are using it for and how you use it. For the creative artist, social media is a godsend - and many of you younger artists, writers, musicians, etc, out there have absolutely no idea what navigating the creative world was like before the advent of the internet - but that’s another story for another time. 
 
For me, the internet and social media has always been a place where one who’s deeply interested in the arts can find a wealth of wonderful artists and other creative types the world over, again, something nearly impossible twenty years ago. Unless you were one who was truly “clued in” to everything imaginable, you were basically at the mercy of the Big Leagues and whatever they decided you should see, hear or read. The world wide web changed all that and I think it’s for the better. Now, with just a simple click of a button, you can be exposed to a wealth of creative talent twenty years ago you would have been hard pressed to hear about. 
 
It’s also been a boon for small presses and their writers and it was during my usual daily surfing around the internet for some interesting things to read that I stumbled upon a poet named Loren Kleinman. 
 
Loren Kleinman is an accomplished poet. Her work has appeared in numerous journals such as Poetry Motel, Promise Magazine, Slip Shot: A Journal of Literary Art, Hipnosis: New Jersey’s Art and Entertainment Magazine, Aspirations: The Art of Writing, Sol Magazine, Conception, Karawane, and these are just a few of the journals where her work was previously published. She has also written a book of poetry called “Flamenco Sketches” (Spire Press, 2003) and it intrigued me enough to immediately purchase it - and I’m glad I did. 
 
Flamenco Sketches (Winner of the Spire 2003 Poetry Competition) is a very powerful book of poetry. The poems within are honest, heartfelt, sometimes gritty but also very lyrical. To me, this is how poetry should be - an honest exploration of one’s soul and psyche - poetry that has somethingmeaningful to say - and Loren certainly achieves this here. Many of the poems deal with dysfunctional and/or broken relationships, abuse, love, family and life. They are sparse but revealing poems, which say a hell of a lot with very few words (in most cases), a talent that is not easy to master but Loren mastered it with these poems. 
 
“A’Vito” reads: 
 
Now, as I move, 
from one place to
the next, I look
at my hands. 
 
They are a chapped land,
small undiscovered
cities; inhabited,
abandoned. 
 
I look closer, try
to see the scattered
faces of their
constituents. 
 
I am looking
for the walls, ceilings,
floors. I am looking
for the people: plumbers,
fruit vendors, homosexuals,
poets, whores, mothers,
fathers, painters. 
 
I think, they are here,
in between the lines
around my knuckles,
I see them, washing
or drying or
perfuming themselves. 
 
I believe these hands
mingle with many cities. 
Abundant in their roots,
why do the trees conceal
their splendor? 
 
“Seasons No. 1”, another personal favorite of mine, reads: 
 
under the bridge
i gather
up each
vibration left
from corpuscles
that slid
toward your
tongue. 
you
don’t know how
i have cried for us.
but today I bathe
in my baptism,
making room
for the fall. 
 
The pacing of the collection works wonderfully as well, with each poem building up the tension until it explodes, then, coming down again, not in a crash, but like a feather, giving the reader a sense of hope, despite the sometimes heavy subject matter these poems explore. This is no mere “collection of poems”. They are arranged in a way that invokes a piece of music. 
 
This is a poetry collection that I couldn’t recommend highly enough. Loren Kleinman has a natural gift and if these poems only hint at what she has in store for the future, I for one cannot wait. And the latest news is that Loren just signed with Winter Goose Publishing who will be issuing her new collection"The Dark Cave Between My Ribs" in 2014. 
 
Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com