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I'm No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance

  • Image: Image
  • Book Type: Poetry
  • by: Rick Bursky
  • Date Published: September 2015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-938160-70-0
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 72pp
  • Price: $16.00
  • Review by: Heath Bowen
I used to laugh at the notion of singularity because it objectified the pluralizing concept of always wanting more. Good poetry is like that; it is circulatory, a wheel constantly spinning between the yin and the yang of existence. I don't mind that one poem is different than the next, only that somehow the wheel doesn't get stuck and I become lost in the duality of it all. Bursky's collection of poems, titled I'm No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance, kept me moving in all sorts of directions. His facile accession of language, banal if used unequivocally, is an exploitation of eccentricities sprinkled with the right dose of humility and charm. In the titular poem, for example, Burksy humbly writes a character sketch about a three-armed lover; however, to the pleasant surprise of the reader, he ends this tour de force of poetic guile with a profound understanding of what it feels like to yearn for something no longer there:
At twenty-seven she was killed
in an automobile accident.
My heart is a rumor. A pair
of her shoes remains beneath my bed. 
My heart is a rumor” is such a powerful line that it is efficient enough to stop the wheel from turning and keep us all entranced from the affirmation of an effective poetic reflection.

In the poem "My Uncanny Resemblance to a Young Sean Connery," Burksy tackles serious political tropes such as ethnic profiling and the deportations many immigrants face because of someone simply making a mistake. The narrator of this prose piece is mistaken for James Bond by a former KGB agent and is struck in the head with a wine bottle. The parallels between the mistake of identity and today's Middle Eastern profiling is an astounding juxtaposition that will resonate in the reader’s mind for quite some time. 

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Review Posted on March 01, 2016

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