A Review by Monique Quintana Review: Slow Living by Kenyatta JP Garcia Publisher: West Vine Press; West Vine Press Ebook Version 1.0 edition Release Date: October 28, 2016
Reading Kenyatta JP Garcia’s Slow Living is akin to taking the form of a phantom and entering many rooms–sometimes we are conjured and sometimes we are uninvited. Garcia unfolds a multitude of lives with the ease of a blade. There is a convicting of the hegemony and a celebration of a periphery that teeters between the ground and the sublime. The titular poem is an incantation to the wind and the life particles that reside there, “Racing thoughts of sandals, suns, shores / fallen under a parasol / foresight / and positive thinking. / Possibility.” When there is anger in the lines, it is always a righteous anger and there is always the knocking of joy.
In “Dear/Later”, the poet is calling out to an unnamed force, unlatching image after image to make sense of the poetic form. The epistolary nature of the poem leaves the page an unnerving pleasure, like smoke that has quickly dissipated, “Maybe it was a slow day for ideas.” The lines pass into moments of love and lamentation and the pulse of the body, a thing that desires and is worthy of desire, “New strength – a bit of stone turns to sand becomes flesh / holds world in prints, pores. Makes sweat a monsoon.” One incantation shape shifts into another, but we are still left with traces of the former things, long after the book reaches its final page.
Monique Quintana is the managing editor of Razorhouse and is a contributing editor at Luna Luna Magazine.