By Dave Caserio
In his debut book of poetry, “This Vanishing,” Dave Caserio masterfully constructs a lyrical journey through poignant and insightful encounters.
Broken into six segments, Caserio brilliantly expels all of his skeletons. Each poem is eloquently surprising. Caserio’s voice echoes from each page as his lyrical method lucidly grips every word. Over and over again, he demonstrates how a particular human experience can transform who we are.
Fervor pours from every poem as an incantation to an experience. With every recital, you journey through his past, feel his enthusiasm, and hear the tenor of his characters. Caserio’s book operates threefold, as he becomes the storyteller, the performer, and the exorcist of his own past.
Whether several pages long or a simple paragraph, Caserio’s masterful techniques surprise the reader with their fluidity. His hauntingly beautiful approach to even dark occurrences is captivating and unsettling:
My father wished for cremation. Why?
Perhaps in half memory, in waking dark,
The sliced cadaver, how it was his own life
Would dissect him, admit to the open air
What he could not. The body with its shame,
Erase it. Let the debt be paid another time.
Caserio’s raw and dramatic poetry powerfully sermonizes his narratives. His skillful use of sensory details allows the reader to drum the pavement of a busy sidewalk with their feet, hear the quiet room full of grief, feel the grit of an orange peel beneath their nails, and hears the pain in every voice. With each poem, Caserio captures the atmosphere of sentiment with effortless fluidity, demonstrating his remarkable poetic skill. Whether speaking of matters large or small, his ability to transport the reader into the environment and emotions of his words with poignant splendor is overwhelmingly captivating:
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In the old country up in the north
Where they grow the rice
The second someone dies someone goes
And dresses them, puts them
In a casket or lays them
On a plank, a blanket if theyre poor,
Then washes them, hands and feet,
Then sets them in a room, maybe flowers, a rosary.
There are no mirrors in the room,
The windows are shut, the door closed.
Only the small light of a candle in the evening remains.
And then, except for the mother, the forgetting begins.
“This Vanishing” promises to leave everything on the table as Caserio elegantly chants of progression, realization, anger, love, understanding and serenity. He brilliantly connects his own experiences to that of his readers, whether it is pain, sorrow, or joy, we understand a voice may vanish, but it is never forgotten.