"Caterwauling & Doggerel by Author Eddie Matsuoka is unexpected and never short of genuine - using humor, observation and allusions to literature...
June 24, 2018
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"Caterwauling & Doggerel by Author Eddie Matsuoka is unexpected and never short of genuine - using humor, observation and allusions to literature and religion to paint something both heartfelt and fun, not taking itself too seriously but not denying emotion and meaning from what it needs to say." Read our recent review!!!
Eddie Matsuoka’s Caterwauling & Doggerel flashes colours of youthfulness and life. It neither forces words forth nor shoots them down, embracing them like the breeze would.
The collection is very self-aware. It takes itself lightly, shy as a feather that skips across the concrete like it wants to touch ground, but is never quite sure. It wears its depths honestly without flaunting them, and they can hit one's mind from out of the blue with a surprising artfulness.
It is relaxed like the memory of sun on the waters, even in those moments when it steps into dark corners. Caterwauling comes across, more than anything, as "bright" - it evokes strong colours in the back of the eye, and the poems wear a sort of quiet, optimistic laughter even when dreading the future. They form a fine balance of joking, reminiscing and insight.
The poet also has potent statements to make about society when the impulse strikes, and does so without delving into flowers and melancholy, but conveying raw idea - "America 2006" being a good example. It's a brief poem, but all it says is undeniably very real and meaningful.
"We are the nation of sensation,
The land of grand,
The place of wretched excess,
On a pedestal of mirrors."
I personally prefer free-verse as it lends itself to further exploration, but honestly, I think the writer carries out rhyming couplets and structured rhythm pretty well. Sometimes the pattern feels shoehorned in. To uphold a rhyme scheme and keep on topic is not exactly easy, though, and that it's managed without force or cheese is a sign that they've practiced it often and know what they're doing. I loved this particular verse from "pinspOt":
"And when the play is ended, the curtain call unbound:
Roar will be the wisdom, silence be the sound."
Caterwauling & Doggerel is unexpected and never short of genuine - using humor, observation and allusions to literature and religion to paint something both heartfelt and fun, not taking itself too seriously but not denying emotion and meaning from what it needs to say. A four out of five stars.
"We are a magical, cacophonous chaos between biological instinct and scientific imperative. We are the voice between two silences that briefly yells WE LIVE!" - from "BeTween".