Books: Review: Full Moon: The Melissa Moon Poems

Gary Walton moons for poetry in April

Gary Walton

Gary Walton, author ofFull Moon

Full Moon: The Melissa Moon Poems is perhaps the finest work yet by local literature professor, writer, musician and poet Gary Walton. Nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award in Poetry, this collection illuminates the character of Melissa Moon, "the beautiful playwright," as she eloquently muses on life, love, truth and the universe.

Strong and world-weary but with a sensitive delicateness, Moon flows from Walton's pen in a rushing tide of poetry. From musings about the fictional nature of identity at a "Cock-Tale Party" to a request to hear her own eulogy prior to her death in "Melissa Moon is Having a Bad Day," she deftly, intelligently and charmingly theorizes about the complexities of this experience we call life.

The language of the poems is erudite and scholarly yet lightly peppered with unlikely images of catsup and midgets (only one, actually — Moon claims the other was a dwarf). Entertaining, profound, expansive and challenging, this collection takes the reader on a short but transcendent trip through through the eyes and consciousness of the engaging Melissa Moon.

A few lines from "Ghazal for Blue Monday" sum up the sensation of reading Walton's collection:

"I want my mind to be open to the/Splash and curl of the sibilant cosmos/Whose whispers are as special as they/Are faint, whose syntax glides like silver sails/At sunset toward a sleepy horizon."

Full Moon delivers a sort of neuronal/poetic ecstasy of words to the reader. From "Moon Bathing": "A curve much like the secret outline of/A smile or the silent squeal of bliss."

Walton has published many other poetry collections: The Sweetest Song, Cobwebs and Chimeras, Effervescent Softsell and The Millennium Reel, as well as The Newk Phillips Papers, a collection of short fiction. He is also currently working on a novel about Newport in its gambling heyday called Sin City and was previously nominated for the Pushcart prize.


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