A Fresh Drink in a Hot Sun, review by jacob erin-cilberto
If you are intrigued by the cover of “desert noon,” wait until you open it up.
You will find a poet who opens herself up with such sensual writing. Victoria Valentine in these pages is at times vulnerable, passionate, contrary, giving and taking all at once.
The poems will singe you with the heat of their images. There is at once a straightforwardness and complexity that compete with each line.
As in the poem “truth”—she writes, ” i will only love you/ until one by one/ each star slips from an aching sky/ trailing ash across a/ fading horizon”
then ends the poem with “i will wreak havoc upon dusk/ no longer a midnight mistress/ as my sheets resolve to embers/ and your face i forget/ only then will i comprehend/ your dying smile.”
I will love you as long as i want to because i am soft enough to love yet strong enough to leave. My heart may be borrowed, but it is my own.
Take this poetic journey with Victoria and you will see deep into her heart and soul and see deep into yours as well.
(author of “an abstract waltz”—also available from Water Forest Press, Amazon.com.)
Victoria Valentine’s latest collection of verses, DESERT NOON, seemingly quilled from a land of the romantic subjective, prove to be invaluably distinctive in what they offer us, i.e., a foil to examine and mediate within ourselves the struggles, universal, of the human condition’s plight of love, that greatest of all human needs. This collection is refreshingly deceptive; it deconstructs from within its collective of seemingly romantic self-indulgences of love unrequitted or lost to emerge as a narrative mural of social realism, one being’s emotional odyssey whose pieces are too frequently rooted in ‘the other,’ and in social contexts that speak to the realism of interactive love, or one-sided love, or abused love, or ecstatic love although too frequently and tragically ephemeral–and just too excoriatingly honestly real to us to question upon experiencing Ms. Valentine’s lyrical incarnations whether we wake or sleep. These are not Keatsian effusians. This collective’s incarnations are real, and so real in spite of their lyrical beauty, that we ache along with her remembrances, recollections, and even her social realist feminism that underscores those abuses sustained in a very real human plight of human need. On the other hand, feminism’s umbrella is blessedly no longer gender-specific, either. And, therein lies the irony of Victoria’s work: our emotional responses to her lyrical foils are universal; they are neither gender-specific or arbitrarily political. We wince and, occasionally, we exalt, also, as we read DESERT NOON because we, too, all of us, participate in her voice, universal, in our shared and common emotional odyssey of love’s realities, we the perpetrators, and we the recipients, the protagonists of love’s realities who know that feelings never lie.
Christopher Paris, PH.D
Elegance in Poetry, review by Orania Hamiltion, editor of Platinum Poetry
Victoria Valentine has earned the title of elegance from her extraordinary creation of poetry. Candid and transparent this book takes you through the many intricate tender vividness of love and life.It speaks of love when new and exciting and love lost with it’s anguish and hurt that celebrates the joy and commitment and passions of love as it gently interweaves you with life itself. If you have ever yearned to express your deepest thoughts about love but did not know how or what to say, you will cherish this collection of heartfelt poetry by an author that listens to the whispers of the heart.
A taste of “charcoal madness”,December 22, 2011
Desert Noon lost poetry
As a book reviewer for two literary journals (The Centrifugal Eye and YB Poetry), I get to (have to?) read dozens of poetry books each year, year after year. Rarely am I as surprised in my reading as I was by Victoria Valentine’s Desert Noon. My goodness! Lo and behold, I’d stumbled across a new subgenre of poetry! What I came to call as I was reading it “chick lit poetry.” Yes, ladies, this is for us. Every woman who has lost love (isn’t that all of us?) will find words of comfort in Desert Noon. We are not alone in our abandonment by bad lovers who betrayed us. The poems are passionate, sometimes approaching erotic, reminding me at times that even poetry can assume the pose of a bodice-ripping Harlequin romance. There’s relief in that from the “greedy witch” or “vicious bitch” who stole our man. We can learn to laugh at our painful memories through these very accessible poems. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has “slipped on a cloud.” Dig in. Feel her pain. Move on. She has. Readers who might puzzle over the depth and complexity of, say, Henri Cole’s poems need not fear. Come on, girls, chick-lit poetry has hit the bookshelves.