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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review of Stanzas on Oz by David M. Katz

Formal poetic design, when singular and well-wrought, can layer the human condition in a mime of consciousness that enchants beyond any purposeful sense or reasoned expectation. David M. Katz, curtained off in his new collection, Stanzas of Oz, pulls the levers of artistry with jaw-dropping dexterity, producing shimmering verses imbued with redemptive, sometimes transformative powers.

Opening with poignancy and a sense of lingering injustice, Katz’s first two poems stake out territory in the white collar domain of office culture. The poet elicits contempt and ire with calm detail and enraging logic—T. S. Eliot’s objective correlative in spades. The first of this duo, a sonnet, Katz ironically entitles Anniversary. After an early morning firing, a woman leaves her workplace hurriedly. She eases through the institutional glass doors for the last time and, taking with her some paltry belongings, she tosses her company benefit plan binder. Nothing else happens. But, of course, everything happens: a life defined by its work deconstructs itself into anonymity.  For more of my review of Stanzas on Oz go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2016/02/stanzas-on-oz-poems-2011-2014-by-david.html

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