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Sunday, May 30, 2021

LB Sedlacek Turns Her Review of "Defense Mechanisms" into a Poem

Title: Defense Mechanisms
Author: by Jessica Goody
Publisher: Phosphene Publishing Co.
ISBN 978-0-9851477-7-8
Copyright 2016
114 pages

Reviewed by LB Sedlacek

The first poem “The Mermaid” that opens
Jessica Goody’s poetry book is a frank look
at turning a mermaid into a human. It’s a
captivating poem, chock full of startling
images of what would most likely happen
to a real mermaid on land. It’s a stark
welcome to a world of poems that touch
on many different emotions, circumstances
and experiences with varying approaches.

Other poems in Part One (Being Handicapped)
are exact looks at real life in poetical form:
From “Drawing Blood” – “I feel the pinch
and snap of the sterile / tourniquet clinching
my flaccid bicep,” and from “Extraction” –
“They don’t look like they belong in the
body, / but are foreign objects meant to be
removed. / My swollen cheeks are soft and
foreign to the touch.”

The poem “Awakening” compares puberty
to the tale of Rip Van Winkle. “Fog People”
melds a fog like existence to dealing with
the outside world and physical limitations.

In Part Two (Green Sentinels) of the book,
the poem “Suicide Methods” is a poignant
take on a razor/bathtub death presenting it
in such a way that it almost seems okay.
“Fallen Apples” turns harvesting apples
into a soft subtle memory and a real
experience almost like being there. Read
this poem and it will make you crave an
apple. From “Ode to a Sea Lion” –
“Your cough-like back warns / he is unwelcome
on your turf. / It is a gang war, bull versus
bull.” This is a poem that will make you
channel just that, a sea lion!

Part Three (Other Voices) seems to head
into a kind of gray area almost like
a meditative chart. From “The Color of
Rain” – “…The damp concrete glints,
bathed in the afterglow / of a passing

Goody’s work is just like a storm –
it starts slowly, grows large and
powerful then subsides. You’ll be
glad you read it if you pick up this


~LB Sedlacek is the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars,” and “The Poet Next Door.”  Her first short story collection came out last year entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.”  Her mystery novel “The Glass River” was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.  She writes poetry reviews for “The Poetry Market Ezine” YouA frequent The New Book Review reviewer you can read another of her reviews on poetry, "Septuagenarian," published by Modern History Press. 

Learn more about her at

Facebook:  @lbsedlacekpoet

Twitter @lbsedlacek  

Instagram:  @lbsedlacek  

Tumblr:  @lbsedlacek  

LB Sedlacek Turns Her Review of "Defense Mechanisms" into a Poem

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