Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS on another stellar review — this one from Boston Small Press & Poetry Scene. Here’s the review…

by Ellaraine Lockie

Reviewed by Zvi A. Sesling

How many times have you sat in a coffee house or café observing people, taking notes or writing poetry? Most poets have at one time or another. In the back of Coffee House Confessions, Ellaraine Lockie’s tenth volume of poetry, it states she, “writes every day in a coffee shop no matter where she is in the world.”

Often we find her in a Starbucks, but no matter, the poems carry humor and keen observation as in White Noise and Other Muses:

The woman sitting next to me in Starbucks says
I wish I were as dedicated to something
as you to whatever you do here every day
Little does she know I’m eating her alive
Dissecting her and spitting her out on paper 

Or in another poem titled Ashes:

He’s been to this Starbucks before
Someone at a nearby table says
he rotates to avoid arrest
A mountain man or maybe Santa Claus look
Except skinny as a stage-four Jesus
Guitar on top of his grocery cart
over piles of clothes and a bag of cat food
Cat food, when there’s no place for a cat
Twenty-six degrees last night and damp

But not everything is stateside or Starbucks. Indeed we find her in Italy and Portugal and other unnamed locations, yet each poem provides insight into the people at each site.

A few samples include Man About Town in which “His stride was a study in meter/And any female looking his way/from the Leaf and Bean/as he crossed the street/would become an immediate student”

Or there is the study of a female in Short-Shorts on Midlife Legs: “Does she know/how the back of her thighs/look without shadow of shade

Ms. Lockie knows what to look for and how to put it down on paper. The latter was in a Peet’s somewhere that doesn’t really matter because it is the observation and its placement on the page that brings it all to life.

In reading this I was often chuckling or smiling inside at the descriptions of people who might turn purple if they read this book and recognize themselves. Are you one of them? After all, one of the coffee houses could be in your town.

About the Reviewer: Zvi A. Sesling is the author of King of the Jungle and Across Stones of Bad Dreams, editor for Boston Small Press & Poetry Scene, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Bagel Bards Anthology 7.

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