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Book Note: A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend

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A Bank Robber's Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend
By KJ Hannah Greenburg
Unbound Content, 2011

Reviewed by Ginny Kaczmarek, LM Assistant Poetry Editor

"Songbirds are entertaining. Roses smell nice. Most passion, however, resolves as cacophonous and stinky."

Just in time for Valentine's Day, KJ Hannah Greenburg, has published a new book of poetry, A Bank Robber's Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend. Organized into three sections, Hope, Hurt, and Highways, these poems explore romantic love--hot and heavy or on the wane--with wit and honesty.

With her dense language, serpentine syntax, and occasionally anachronistic rhyme schemes, Greenburg manages to sound both Victorian and brashly modern. Interspersed with lines such as "When I was shepherded athwart merry straits to your doyenne-like center" (from "Poisoning via Toothbrush After 'Romancing'") are graphic descriptions of oral sex or revenge fantasies of a spurned lover (see previous poem title). A quirky mix of humor and pathos, A Bank Robber's Bad Luck, showcases an original voice and a poet worth keeping an eye on.

A few lines from "Simple Arithmetic" for Valentine's Day:
Perhaps general mood states ought
To trickle down the hippocampal more often.
Meanwhile, there's chocolate doughnuts.

In addition to Powell's, A Bank Robber's Bad Luck with his Girlfriend is available directly from the publisher. Literary Mama readers receive a 10 percent discount by entering W6HXTTWY on the order form. Email annmarie (at) unboundcontent (dot) com for information about group discounts.

Ginny Kaczmarek is a poet, editor, and reviewer with an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans. Her writing has appeared in Kirkus ReviewsCalyx Journal, Women’s Review of Books, The Oxford American, MeasureRattle, and the anthology Birth Writes: A Collection of Real Life Birth Stories. She is a former poetry editor for Literary Mama and lives in New Orleans with her spouse and two sons.

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