Stephen Caratzas: Past Present Suture

Past Present Suture by Stephen Caratzas, Drifting Man Press 2011

Reviewed by OLIVER WOLF

Although possessed of his own unique voice and aping no one, Stephen Caratzas’ latest book of poetry, Past Present Suture, would sit very comfortably on any bookshelf next to the best of Huncke, Bukowski, Trocchi—that gang. But before it sits on any shelf, it needs to be read, because the entries in this book make you feel, and cause you to see just how much the writer feels…a hammer blow to the heart and mind. Pathos always leavened with black humor, as in “My Least Favorite Memory of You”, the last line of which slayed me (just read the poem). Or the heartbreaking conclusion to “I Still Reach For That Book”, easy to relate to by anyone who’s ever been in a failed relationship but where feelings still linger. This is brutal, hilarious stuff.

Judging by the quality and depth of what’s on display here, it would seem that—much like the book cover model’s face—Mr. Caratzas’ poetry ambitions are pretty much all sewn up and the places where his writings can take the reader appear limitless.

Past Present Suture, Stephen Caratzas, Drifting Man Press, 2011. $10

Oliver Wolf has been in various bands/musical projects around New York City for the past twenty-five years or so. He is trying to pass on his love of books, art, and music to his two boys, and says  "surprisingly it's working!"

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