Since 1996 Volume XXI
Janet Brennan
aka J.D. Stillwater

Poetry Review

By Janet Brennan

By Matt Pasca

In this extremely personal collection of poetry by author, Matt Pasca, Raven Wire takes us from memory, dreaming time in space, to present. This book, which is aptly titled, is a modern glimpse into the writer’s heart and soul. Before we get to see just who this poet is, we must understand who he was, and poet Pasca has no reservations about letting us know about his formative years. One quickly understands that although not bad, these years were typical; however Pasca quickly realized that he did not fit into a “typical four sided box.” This poet jumps the frame as he describes what he observes in the daily buzz and life styles of modern families. In Icon- O –Plastic he writes:

“He came from a bouncy house on a street lined with bouncy
trees in a town that bounces from the map-tulips from
a magician’s pocket. Mom pulled a bouncy childhood
from her bunny hat, dad a bouncy scholarship from
an ace-stacked deck. He was desperate, you see.”

Poet Pasca writes this book with a keen sense of mastery of the poetic form. It is candid and straight to the edge, taking the craft to a level that I seldom see in writing. One’s reader always seems to know if something is not being said. . Matt Pasca, in his own understanding of his life and destiny does not disappoint. The deeper into the writing one goes, the reader understands that this is a book about watching, listening, and interpreting the multitude of experiences that bombard the senses every single moment. What can we learn? How do we utilize these things to make changes in our lives?As we follow him into his status , we are given glimpses into a life as husband and father. Author Pasca captures the joy and wonder as he finds himself growing with his children. Life is not simply about advice and demonstration; rather tasting and seeing the new that surrounds our lives every single moment, indeed with every breath taken. He has determined that his life with his wife and children – his colleagues, politics and traveling will be a collaborative project of learning from one another.

My favorite poem in Raven Wire is June First

Page 85 – stanza 1:

“Our baby is almost five, He eats olives, knows the differencebetween ride, crash and hi-hat cymbals and says things like Daddy, imaginewe are on a chessboard and I am a pawn and you are the knight.He likes spotting leaves at the bottom of our uncovered pool,its murky depth slowly morphing to emerald. He bends close – “

And then this in stanza 5:

“At night, he and his brother breathe down
the hall, sleep to a recording of ocean waves. My wife and I
hold hands atop the sheets, windows open, the legs
of crickets rubbing through the room – “

Raven Wire is an intelligent, well-crafted, often metaphoric book of poetry. This writer has reached out to show through his enlightening words the importance of paying attention to those things which surround us and yet are not always seen.

I am honored to review this brilliant book, Raven Wire. Matt Pasca has a very special gift, like few others, he is able to reach in and touch his soul.

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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan