Travelling Music

Colleen J. McElroy, Author Story Line Press $13.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-885266-65-1
In last year's memoir A Long Way from St. Louis, McElroy made clear her passion for travel, and her ability to capture the varying impressions varying locales have left on her consciousness. These poems take up where those recollections left off, mapping much of the same territory, but this time in the loose free verse familiar from the new & selected collection What Madness Brought Me Here (1990). Titles like ""Five Black Beauties Romancing Dalmatia"" signal the humor that she keeps in her kit bag (""the place looks like a backlot for a bad Flynn movie/ the standard castle, walled city, and that damned sea...."") as does ""There's an Obi in the Dishwasher [and other useful Japanese Phrases]."" Other poems, like ""The Verdict: Los Angeles 1992"" and ""Square Dancing the Adriatic"" (""a hint of Black/ descendants in a town/ called Ulcinj--hidden/ naturally in back of/ this ragged backwater"") are more wary. The pleasure in accompanying McElroy on her excursions and jazz age reconstructions--such as the impressive ""A Charleston for Florence Mills""--allows us to overlook some of the more overstated lines, and find how ""each landscape has its own remark for our lives."" (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
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