Monthly Archives: March 2016

Insane in the Quatrain: a Book Review

(Reviewed by Christina)

I’ve been focusing on tying up literary loose-ends in my life, and I awakened at 2 a.m. with the thought of the book Insane in the Quatrain in my head. Strange, considering that I haven’t read it in a few years, but it was mailed to me as a review copy. I was overwhelmed by it and didn’t know what to say, because it’s as though the whole concept of the book is a joke.

Insane in the QuatrainThe author uses the name Bradley Lastname. He is unidentifiable by the cartoon photo, and what I gather from the “About the Author” page at the end of the book is that he’s also known as B-Dog Lastizzle by his peeps in the hood. (?) I don’t know many “peeps” who get into subjects such as 33rd degree Masonry and cultural devolution, but okay… (?) He does seem to be prolific. Insane in the Quatrain is 188 pages, and he also lists five other books by title “and several other books of poetry and fiction.”

Insane in the Quatrain is really quite sophisticated in content in a city-slick sort of way; it’s word-play gone rampant, often with a catchy rhythm and infused throughout with a potpourri of prosaic thoughts (in quick scanning, I only see one actual poem written in quatrains). The content IS funny – not just entertaining but Laughing-Out-Loud-Funny, but at times it’s crudity and obscenity on the hard offense, which is probably why I haven’t picked it up in a few years. Today I have it in my lap.

Even the layout of the book brings to mind a giant middle-finger as the page numbers are much larger than the text and they’re deliberately placed all over the page. The font size varies throughout, but this is all part of the jibe against the modern world and modern poetry in general.

Here I’ll quote his poem “the seven deadly SINaesthesiaS”:

at first I was amBIValent about Roy G. Biv,

but I have since gone from curious to furious.

  • O is BLUE, not orange, Roy.
  • U is green, not G, Roy.
  • O is BLUE, not B, Roy.
  • I is RED, not indigo, Roy.
  • Red is I, nor R, Roy.

I’m beginning to feel like young Vladimir Nabokov pointing out the errors on his wooden blocks.

And don’t go telling me that Rimbaud didn’t really have synaesthesia.

If he didn’t have it, he sure knew where to get it !!

Too bad he never shared it with you.

…and another poem: “SEVEN DAY WEEKEND”:

Saturday – Went bowling with the Bolsheviks

Sunday – Honorably mentioned by the Mensheviks

Monday – Beat eggs with the beatniks

Tuesday – Shaved legs with the neatniks

Wednesday – Picnicked with the sickniks

Thursday – Mutinied with the nogoodniks

Friday – Procrastinated with the woulda*coulda*shoulda-niks

So, on that note, Insane in the Quatrain (a product of The Press of the Third Mind, Chicago) is available at for people who need some intelligent amusement in their life and don’t mind occasionally being mentally assaulted.

Oh, and THANKS, B-Dog, for the copy. Peace-Out.


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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in News & Reviews


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Villanelles & Varia by Christina Finlayson Taylor

Christina - Villanelles & Varia PB CoverVillanelles & Varia is special to me as it’s my first perfect-bound collection of my own poetry. These poems were written during a precious chapter in my life, a time when (as I told some friends recently) I had “too much playtime and a lot of growing up yet to do”! This collection is very personal; it’s ME turned inside-out, and I hope that this introspective poetry will resonate some familiar chords with readers.

I’ve been blessed to have received my first review of Villanelles & Varia at by Frances McColl Stewart, a personal friend, fellow poetess and author of a few collections through Middle Island Press and other sources. I owe a lot to this inspiring lady.

Look inside my book at

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Release: Short and Sweet by Todd Millick

Millick - Short and Sweet Cover JPEGWe at Middle Island Press are glad to share in the enthusiasm of our poets and their successes. Short and Sweet (ISBN 978-0692646083) by Todd Millick is no exception to this as his book has made it into the hands of readers far and wide. That’s what it’s all about.

We encourage you to check out Mr. Millick’s book page at Middle Island Press as well as where several poems can be previewed within the book’s interior. If you like what you see, consider picking up a copy.


(Middle Island Press supports living poets.)


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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in News & Reviews


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Jupiter Works on Commission: Jack Phillips Lowe (a Review)

We have yet another review on Jack Phillips Lowe’s most recent collection of narrative poems through Middle Island Press: Jupiter Works on Commission. It was penned by a thoughtful editor at Misfit Magazine, and rather than paste it here, I’ll provide the link:

Misfit Magazine Review of Jupiter Works on Commission

We’re always gratified when new reviews come in and hope you readers continue to enjoy our titles.


(Middle Island Press specializes in poetry and poetic prose.)

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Posted by on March 13, 2016 in News & Reviews


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Jupiter Works on Commission by Jack Phillips Lowe: a Poetry Book Review by LB Sedlacek

THANK YOU, North Carolina poet LB Sedlacek, for taking the time to review Jupiter Works on Commission by Jack Phillips Lowe:

Volume 15 / Issue 6

“Jupiter Works on Commission”
by Jack Phillips Lowe
ISBN 978-0-6925-0688-2
Copyright 2015
Middle Island Press
57 Pages

Review by LB Sedlacek

Jack Phillips Lowe’s narrative poems in
this collection all tell work related
tales.  Subjects like using technology
to make a simple task harder, shopping
in a discount store, product packaging,
imaginary friends, employees talking
at breaks are to be found in inventive
poems such as “Captain Nitro Returns”
and “Box Wars.”

An inventive approach to working and
professions, each poem offers a
unique perspective on jobs.  “Coo-Coo-Ca Chew”
is a humourous look at customer service
in the returns area of a department
store.  “Cheer Up, Subversive Jean”
is a humourous account of the FBI
looking into the band The Monkees
for what the rock band was “really”
up to in 1967 at a concert.  “Godspeed,
Myrna” talks of unemployment and how
someone might spend their time good or
bad when not looking for a new job.

From “Jupiter Works on Commission”:
“Tomas and Vinny were welders./Until
they got laid off last November, that
is./Now, to keep in touch, the pair
meets once a week/for coffee in the
only restaurant they can afford–…”
This is the title poem.  It’s the
story of Tomas and Vinny praying to 
find work and how they decide they
need to quit praying to saints but
instead to the Roman gods and
goddesses, specifically Jupiter.  This
is my favorite poem in the book.  I
could read it over and over again.

Jack Phillips Lowe has accomplished,
or rather put into print a realistic
view of the working life (a life we
spend so much time with whether we are
employed or not it surrounds us; 
unemployment; spouse’s jobs; graduating
and looking for a job, etc.)

From “Survivor’s Stripes”:  “The night
before the job interview,/Reed stands in
front of his bathroom mirror/and stares 
at them peeking through his sideburns:/
curly gray hairs.”…//”standing tall,
Reed decides to wear/his grays proudly
to the interview/as badges of wisdom–…”

Lowe writes with a certainty
that captures the everyman soul — poems
in touch with the world working or not
working.  He delivers a contemporary
narrative of down to earth poetry for the
working souls.


(It means so much to poets and their publishers when there are readers who support their dreams. Jupiter Works on Commission is available at and the Middle Island Press website.)



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Posted by on March 11, 2016 in News & Reviews


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