The story is enough.

The story is enough.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Difference between a duck by R. L. Palmer

There are wonderful things that happen with self-publishing, yet more often than not I find books in need of thorough editing.  Grammar, arrangement, and hubris can become overwhelming to a reader of a self-published volume and an editor calms those stormy seas before such works reach distribution.

I loved the title of Mr. Palmer's book:  The Difference between a duck.  In fact, it is a joke my family used to say all the time as a segue or as a way to ameliorate an awkward situation.  What is the difference between a duck?  One of his hind legs is both the same. But beyond the title, I was left feeling like this was written by a  gentleman who thinks he is clever and wants to show others just how clever he is.  I missed the humility in the art - the celebration of the art itself.  

Beginning with an introduction fraught with lengthy sentences, rather than introducing the work ahead, Mr. Palmer seems to excuse all of the difficulties that may lie ahead for the reader.  

This book is indeed a hodge-podge of writings produced over many years, and as such is the case, it requires careful organization.  Instead, the pieces are arranged in alphabetical order.  Sentences are too long and heavy in the prose - as well as the poetry - and the free-verse poems seem to lack a rhythm, a flow, other than occasional word play.

I found it hard to "get into" this book.  I even found it hard to want to pick up the book more than once.

To be fair, I did find myself chuckling at "dior death", and I enjoyed the imagery of "dinner at nate's".  Both were written in November of 1998.

As a fellow writer, I wish Mr. Palmer luck and I highly recommend this book be kept and admired by those that know and love him.  I also suggest that more time be spent in the presence of humble poets who by virtue of their love of the art, jostle other writers into a place of accessibility and creativity.

Photo credit:,204,203,200_.jpg

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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