B.L.'s Drive-bys: A Micro-Review from B.L. Kennedy:
Finding the Ultimate Treasure
by Marilyn Souza
28 pp, $5
I recently had the chance to get to meet this poet a few months back, and I have to admit that I am immediately drawn to her word combinations and to her hopes and fears. But there’s something missing here, and what it is, I just can’t put my finger on. Not that we have a case of bad writing; we don’t: Souza is a talented writer, but her chapbook, Finding the Ultimate Treasure, is haphazardly though creatively constructed, leaving me with the feeling that, to quote the poet: “You tasted like a mistake.” Don’t get me wrong; there are so many different ways that one can approach this text. One can read it as one long poem looking in a very disjointed way for an outreaching validation, or one can read it as a collection of so-so short poems whose interconnectedness leaves the reader with an uneasy feeling of “what just happened?” I want to praise Souza for this short, but, as I said, rather disjointed collection, and I do recommend the book. If you’re up in Grass Valley or if you happen to catch Marilyn on one of her trips down to Luna’s, I would suggest buying this book. In closing, I want to reiterate that Marilyn Souza is a fine, focused but as of yet unchallenged young author whose words will leave their mark on your psyche, but who is in constant danger of giving in to surrounding influences instead of trusting her own voice.
—B.L. Kennedy, Reviewer-in-Residence