Romantically Erotic Deadly Spiritual Society
by Jennifer M. Garnatz

"I hear the music,
I hear the wailing,
I hear the falling
of water thumping,
racing down the waterfalls"

Garnatz has divided her poetry collection into sections on “Romance and Friendship,” “Spirituality and Death,” “Eroticism,” and “Society and Nature.” Her poems conjure images of love and lust, of God appearing in her dreams and pleading for people to change their ways, of mourning, acceptance, prejudice, and the horrors of war. In her piece, “Brutality,” Garnatz writes that “so many centuries / have come and gone / yet crimes, prejudice and wars / keep going on, and on, and on.” Many of the poems in this collection are impassioned pleas for justice, compassion, and spiritual re-awakening.

This Jamaican-born poet writes pieces that, at times, can be very intimate, very sensual, and quite revealing. In her poem, “The Shower,” we read evocative descriptions such as “Excitedly horny / your teeth tug / at my underwear. / Now / I am naked. / You lift me up, / carry me / into the shower.” These poems are raw, full of carnal emotion, and paint erotic pictures. But, lest her work be pigeonholed, there is more going on here as well.

The poet’s strength lies in the fact that she does not shy away from taking risks. Garnatz completely allows herself to be vulnerable with her readers. Whether writing about sexual desire, prophetic dreams, or the deep desire for peace, these words seem to channel heartfelt emotions and deep-seated internal desires of a writer who has experienced much in her life. She grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, but has resided in Hamburg, Germany, since 1980. Garnatz has performed her spoken word pieces in major poetry slams (in both English and German) at events in Germany and has been featured or co-featured at other events not only in her native Jamaica but also throughout North America. Her list of poetic achievements and national-level poetry slam competitions are not surprising, given the raw, unfiltered power and stamina of many of the poems presented in this formidable collection.

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