Nathan Graziano’s After the Honeymoon (2009)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 12, which was published circa November 2009.


Nathan Graziano – After the HoneymoonWho doesn’t like Nathan Graziano? Raise your hand. You! You who raised your hand go read After the Honeymoon (sunnyoutside press). He’ll swoon you like you’re in Niagara Falls.

Graziano writes in the language of today, even though he has no cell phone or a Facebook account. His tone is contemporary, too, with a seriousness of actuality mixed with ironies he “never intended” (p 35).

This is certainly true in the alcoholism poem, “Cracker and Me,” where he gets into the depths of their aging through drinking. He witnesses the shift from wild writers to suburban parents. And at the end, after the sudden realization of the alcoholism sickness merging with the old-age sickness that he writes:

   [...] the only thing we have to say is:
   pour me

   a drink?
                          (p 38-9)

You would think those closing four lines would undermine everything that was written before, right? In this case, no. This is the seriousness mixed with ironies. This is the unintended irony when he utters the phrase of a young binge drinker, as if the older person is saying, “I can still do this.” But look at spacing and pacing of the line. They are short and slow. It creates an inner desperation he needs to connect to youth, to connect to writing, even though it is really complacency (another contemporary emotion) of what he is and where he is headed.

Yes, the title of the book is appropriate, as it is well After the Honeymoon, but for the reader it is an enduring experience through, poetry, prose poems, and emotions.//




Graziano, Nathan. After the Honeymoon. Buffalo, NY: sunnyoutside press, 2009.//

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