My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Close your eyes, conjure this vision of the night sky: a matte-black rectangle punctuated by fourteen small round apertures, each softly back-lit. Which one is the moon?
What I just evoked for you is the elegantly-designed cover of this keepsake poetry chapbook meticulously crafted by BatCat Press, www.batcatpress.com. (I purchased #20 of 50 copies.)
The 23 poems between these covers are keepers, too. Mr. Daniels’s translucent lyrics are lingering, right now, within the undercurrents of my own life’s late-hour regrets, bygone apologies, and waning options. The poet writes about human Melancholy in all its lunar phases — the full phase of addiction, the partial phases of flawed relationships, the enigmatic phases of raising children, the absent phases of recollected childhood.
Perhaps–as has been proposed elsewhere–our personal salvation begins with complaint (blaming the gods) and ends with gratitude (praising the gods). If so, this small chapbook ushers forth a muted, almost shy, grace: the poet begins with self-deprecating complaint (“Apology to the Moon”) and ends with self-effacing praise (“Audience with the Moon”).
Splurge on a purchase of this precious collection of poetry. Feel for yourself the soft grace of it, from cover to cover.