Fiery poetry depicting "Woman's struggle to be recognized in a male-dominated society. Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites is an entertaining snap-shot summary of Amy Jean's memoir The Kingdom Has Arrived.
Check out Amy Jean's Memoir
Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Review:
At first glance, the hard copy of Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites appears to be printed upside down. The front cover leads to the upside down back of the story, and the reader opens from the back to begin. The back cover presents a poem that starts "Going in reverse caused me to curse/laboring to diffuse anger/from the course I'd traversed." This leads one to think that this is a purposeful move rather than a printer's error. And so the fun begins.
Each poem receives a color drawing by illustrator Eric Savage, who provides visual embellishment for the lyrical works within. More so than most poets who choose to add color embellishments, these pictures of people, animals, places, and situations are suitable artistic enhancements that both support written words and stand on their own as lovely drawings supporting the epic poetry production.
Readers move through life experiences with reflections that blend history, philosophical, and psychological inspection. Some question the nature of perception and reality, as in 'Facts': "A story is a story;/What exactly are the facts?/—Your perspective/My perspective—who can argue with that?"
Some are whimsical; others quite serious. The free-flowing style moves between verse and free verse with equal skill as Jean weaves a powerful story with action calls that link history and personal choice and perspective.
Powerful reflections link daily life's challenges to broader experience as in 'Back from the Front', which connects military endeavors with fifty years of "calculation, terrorism and isolation" and describes them with a series of vivid images: "Mine's a ride down a slide/a fall in an elevator,/a spin in a tornado &/a climb up a ladder/Again, and again, and again..."
The result is poetic social inspection at its best: a journey of compelling, engaging historical examination that links personal experience and evolution to activism in a compelling, unique, artistic manner where everything in life is potentially revolutionary.