by Cheryl A. Townsend. Kirpan Press, PO Box 2943 Vancouver, WA. 98668-2943.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
The dominant theme of much of Cheryl Townsend’s published poetry is her unabashed enjoyment of sex. Radical because she was among, if not the first, woman poet to totally allow her sexuality to dominate her literary canvas. This form of feminism is yet to be fully appreciated or embraced. However, certainly Cheryl Townsend will be heralded and exonerated for her pioneering work when the narrow libidinal USA of Poetry is better understood. Pleasantly, in the mean time, we have this new book, Landing On My Feet. The poems within this collection reveal a maturing Townsend, who is exploring the emotional terrain of love and finding among other things sorrow and the sometimes-bitter residue of life experience. With age the onslaught of memory is difficult to contain and it plays full in the emotional life portrayed in Townsend’s poetry. Memory is within this collection a lingering cologne. The raw vigor of Townsend pure sex poetry has found a partner in the form of the older person’s life (an lie) experience. The result of this conjugal joining is fuller and richer poetry spiced with a sensual amount of sugar but also consumed with more than just a single grain of salt.