Book review:

moon chalk
by David LaBounty

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Silverthought Press (December 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984173862
ISBN-13: 978-0984173860
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
Available at Silverthought Press

David LaBounty's new book of poetry, moon chalk, published by Silverthought Press, is poetry for the working class, everyday people. He has been a miner, a mechanic, a reporter and a salesman. This is not a collection that only poetry lovers will embrace, this poetry encompasses the average Joe, in an above average, unforgiving way; LaBounty is a regular man that is not afraid to expose his insecurities, his faults and his desires. moon chalk is witty, comical at times, and brutal at others. These poems are accesible to people in that they are about the things that everyone goes through: the distance that we feel from those closest to us, interactions with the girl at the music store, the way work gets in the way of our lives, experiences, heartache and joy of parenthood, the identity of religion - it is all in moon chalk.

These few lines from our god has a beautiful broken face are prime examples:

it's time to go to work
time to feed the family

it's time to raise the animals
time to find the longest and most comfortable way to die

it's time to make the donuts
time to punch the clock

Poems such as while waiting for my son at the therapist's are honest, raw and completely relatable. There is no mask to uncover, this is a man that is simply trying to do his best.

I am waiting
and this
is a change
as I am
full of
holy static

not shedding
my skin but

to a

considering apples and other things is another poem full of guts and reality. LaBounty does not shy away from his emotions. Reading this poem for me is like loving Humbert Humbert in Nabokov's novel, Lolita. I can not decide who is right and who is wrong, especially when presented with such emotion and character. David writes of his wife picking over apples at the grocery store, and considering myself a bruised apple, would I consider the the same thing here?

the way
your face is
and blank
while you
think about it

the way
your face
is the same
as your
wife's face
when you
see her
at the grocery
store selecting
apples, feeling
them in her
hand while
them for

picking only the
come home
and live
in the fruit
bowl in
the middle
of the kitchen
table [...]

moon chalk is a book of struggle, a book of what it is to be human, and walk around from day to day with complex emotions that are normal for all of us. I have many pages marked so that I can go back to them and read between every line. This is a man that loves his children, wants hard to love, and to know his faith. I found myself as a mother, as a woman of failed relationships and too much time spent analyzing these things, that I felt completely relaxed and capable in his hands. LaBounty shows you right up front that he doesn't necessarily have the answers, but he has the same questions, and he becomes your confidant as you stroll through an afternoon with his poetry.