Silence

      Jeff Munnis
Silence

Silence is a book that opens up our definitions of self-realization. In many ways, we are treated to an almost cinematic rendering of this search. With the beautiful and, often, desolate landscape of Florida’s orange grove country, Munnis reconceives a past that often blurs memory, truth, perception, and awareness.Silence is a book that opens up our definitions of self-realization. In many ways, we are treated to an almost cinematic rendering of this search. With the beautiful and, often, desolate landscape of Florida’s orange grove country, Munnis reconceives a past that often blurs memory, truth, perception, and awareness. As the narrator, Brian, pushes through his past, his discoveries illuminate the roles each of us play in a family. And when Brian journeys through his past, we are face to face with the surreal and sensory imagery of this family’s life. The cattails, dead birds, and diesel fuel smells surrounding a boy’s life in Titusville make an impressionistic effect while the clear and unadorned realizations of Munnis’ narrator take us to a place of understanding: hatred wrapped in love, misunderstanding and shame masked in silence, love and tenderness in small kindnesses. Complicating this cinematic cycle of poems is the pressure of a family negotiating a life of power, money, and violent tendencies. As dramatic tensions rise in many sections of these poems, the awareness of what these tensions mean rises alongside the pivotal events where race, memory, sex, love, and loss merge. We cannot look away. If we need a word for this inevitability and its power to draw us in, it would be destiny. And in these poems as we travel with narrator, we meet his destiny and the inevitable pursuit and renegotiation of the past.—Wynn Yarbrough, Ph.D, teaches Creative Writing at the University of the District of Columbia. He is also the author of A Boy’s Life (Pessoa Press, 2011) and a critical work, Masculinity in Children’s Animal Stories, 1888-1928: A Critical Study of Anthropomorphic Tales by Wilde, Kipling, Potter, Grahame, and Milne (McFraland Press, 2011).
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    The Orange & Blue Drive-In

      Jeff Munnis
The Orange & Blue Drive-In

“The Orange & Blue Drive-In touches on a lot of big issues—class and coming of age and small town America in the 60s—with care and sophistication. It is beautifully written with a strong yet quiet line.” —Juliana Spahr, winner of the Hardison Poetry Prize, and author of eight volumes of poetryIn March of 1967 a young man named Timmy leaves home at the age of fifteen to make room for the arrival of his sister’s baby. His journey takes him just a few blocks down the street, but his life changes dramatically. He goes to work for a man named Morgan, the new owner of the Orange & Blue Drive-In, and he meets Penney, Morgan’s thirty-year-old daughter. Rundi, a Muslim immigrant from India rents him a small room in the back of his antique store. Timmy’s childhood and friends cling to him, but a different world pulls him forward into new relationships, relationships that have startling consequences. Everything happens against the background of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, riots in Detroit, the poverty of Timmy’s east Gainesville neighborhood, and a rapidly changing world.“The Orange & Blue Drive-In touches on a lot of big issues—class and coming of age and small town America in the 60s—with care and sophistication. It is beautifully written with a strong yet quiet line.” —Juliana Spahr, winner of the Hardison Poetry Prize, and author of eight volumes of poetry, including: Response (Sun & Moon Press, 1996), Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), and Well Then There Now (Black Sparrow Press, 2011)
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