Cigarette Sonatas by Josh Gaines | 2013


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Cigarette Sonatas is a poetic reaction to the Iraq War written by a military member during the Bush war years. As military members are forbidden from speaking out against a conflict they are involved in, much of the commentary is expressed, hidden within a historical perspective. This is Josh Gaines’ first book and it has a seemingly reckless flow that pulls you in, holds you close then sets you free better off for the experience. Love, loss, childhood, Tourette’s, sex, jazz, social stratification, and war–it’s all here. There is motion and music in these poems and prose pieces that harkens back to the work of the Beat Poets, but that pulls too from current day performance and slam poet rhythms.