Night & Day: New and Selected Poems (1975-2010)

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“O the fabulous histories/of fleeting things remain/each once and ever instant/ effervescent, like the faces/you’ll remember years hence/when the hills are mythic/fictions of the night sky—/a moon will rise in memory/over Morgantown,/ and you’ll be thinking/what if what if what if…” P.J. Laska ‘s collection of poems are a tour de force in the examination of a disappearing homeland, the government’s gross and compulsive negligence, and the way back to a place of home through philosophical musings. Laska has portrayed a fertile landscape of a working-class citizenship; coal miners, janitors, salesmen across the rich diversities of the Appalachians. But it could be anywhere, anywhere there is history and the undying thirst to regain its story.

Night & Day is a revolutionary documentary shaped by Laska’s skill and free-thinking awareness. He has crafted this collection into three very distinct and thought-provoking sections, each lending a vivid picture created on a palette of carefully blended “anti-lyrics.” His style reaches from haiku to epigrammatic dialogue to philosophical conversations to a one-act play. The different forms make for a seamless flow and keep the reader engaged in an almost voyeuristic indulgence. The images are seen, felt, and experienced, “Quick-dipping/their heads, they/roll silvery drops/down their backs/then shimmy/the dust/from their wings.” His eye for the senses is clearly evident, a profound craftsmanship on each page.

The main theme points to loss and the restitution of a culture, a reinstatement of what has vanished, what has been taken, or rather, an intense look back at a sober lingering. The government’s involvement is one of disdain, but what strikes me is the search for meaning through philosophical traditions, the hope for a return to nature, and what is whole from a place of drought. In many ways, these poems are odes and pieces of the subject’s soul. This is a call, an invitation, to query. I accept.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 146 pages
Publisher Xlibris
Publish Date 22-May-2010
ISBN 9781450097062 Buy this Book
Issue November 2010
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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