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BOOK REVIEW: It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere by Greg Kosmicki

Review by David Z. Drees

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Published in 2016 by Logan House, an imprint of WSC Press, Greg Kosmicki’s It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere is a refreshingly sincere collection that examines the surprisingly complex mundanities of a well-contemplated life in the Great Plains. From nature’s “language we can’t live long enough to learn” to a unique bond with “possum Jesus,” Kosmicki’s most recent collection is paperbound wisdom, as genuinely philosophic as it is thoroughly entertaining. Loyal to his signature, rhythmic narratives, Kosmicki pairs his soothing, lyric voice with a deeply embedded appreciation for “the good life,” for the spiritual vitality of nature, for “the robin exclaiming / in the tree in my yard that he is there and has / something to sing about.”

Spun from Kosmicki’s tuned addiction to detail, It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere is fiercely honest, and the pulsing lull of Kosmicki’s voice complements the periodic shifts to authoritative, where a “walk / around the gum and potholes / to a job every day” becomes a humbling recognition “that whatever you do is only / as worthwhile as the rest of your / society’s willingness to accept / that what you are doing / makes any sense whatsoever.” In It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere, Greg Kosmicki makes the routine aspects of our lives important, where when mowing the lawn, glancing towards a “plant-vine house,” one is driven to question the soul, to know it “is hung up in there / somehow, dripping from the rafters like ectoplasm.” Kosmicki’s ability to caress the modest, relatable experience into something so profound is a unifying accomplishment, and it weaves with a prominent theme of the collection, the universal but hollowing senselessness of our existence in the world. Yet, as a species, we are driven to examine. We think, feel, then think about how we feel. We question, search, sometimes even plea, for meaning when we watch the “rain push down a leaf / here and there as if typing / out a message.”

The pure authenticity of Greg Kosmicki’s It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere is sure to consume the reader. The collection is simultaneously an inquisitive celebration of life and “Another nod to impermanence.” The thinkers are hooked, the poets, wooed, and the poet-thinkers of Kosmicki’s audience will be driven to read and reread Kosmicki’s lyric narratives, each a soothing trickle of a fountain in a waiting room, where one sits quietly next to others, all strangely alone. Greg Kosmicki finds us here, welcomes us to join him in “a sort of communion with the past / with what’s lost, and it’s good / my friends, it’s good.”

Review by David Z. Drees

 

Endnote: Want a taste? Greg Kosmicki’s poem, “Whenever I Peel an Orange,” originally published by Rattle magazine and included in It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere, is available on YouTube.

 

It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere
Greg Kosmicki
Perfect Paperback: 56 pages
Logan House (November 2016)
ISBN: 978-0991013951
$16.00

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BOOK REVIEW: It’s as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere by Greg Kosmicki