Epochal Reckonings
by J.P. Linstroth
Proverse Publishers HK

"And Revelations supposedly foretold of a hydra-like beast with seven heads
While a gold-plated toilet flushed loudly roaring like a beast
washing away waste"

Linstroth's book of verse addresses such diverse topics as 9/11, Syria, Russian collusion, Hurricane Katrina, detention camps, the Gore-Bush election standoff, and America. In poems vibrant with current events and the early twenty-first century's most mind-boggling political turns and natural disasters, geographic and cultural displacements unfold. Children find themselves separated from their mothers and coloring with uniformed women more familiar with firearms than nurturing. Young men hunch in front of Border Patrol agents focused on speed and sidearms rather than humanity. "Seeking freedom" becomes synonymous with "entering danger," and a nation's post-election fate hangs like an infamous chad as planes collide into the Twin Towers, climate change ravages an ever-changing landscape, and school shootings become as commonplace as a McDonald's drive-thru on the corners of American cities and small towns.

In carefully scaffolded depictions of historic and modern colonialism, oppression, and disregard for human life, this collection calls into question the political system and leaders of the world's foremost superpower. The poems' chaotic structures and forms represent the chaos unfolding in a nation rife with civil unrest and political discord as well as a natural environment suffering at humankind's unmerciful hands. The chaotic forms also parallel the narrator's questioning and uncertainty about "the Land of the Free" and show how politically engaged citizens respond to derailing administrations and policies. America's moral compass spins wildly, unhinged by corruption-laden magnetism evident to everyone but those involved. With dire warnings framed by some of America's most society-altering events and eyebrow-raising scandals, this collection becomes a political science companion well suited for any season—political, election, or not.

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