SOB is Bridget Jones having an affair with Edgar Allen Poe on paper. The somber gloom of Poe and the wry single girl longing for a lasting relationship, mingle in every line and kiss with every comma.
Undone by the complexity of relationships with men, Loria Taylor took her pen, applied it to paper then wickedly and slyly showed us ourselves. Reading this book is little like being stripped naked and a lot like being x rayed to reveal your inner demons. From the first page, each poem is relatable to anyone who has ever been kicked in the romantic gut and walked away confused and bruised. Ms. Taylor holds nothing back, she is cryptic and sardonic in matters pertaining to men and wise in the way only a woman who is emotionally observant can be.
Dissatisfied with the status quo, this poet embraces then resists the modern stereotype of the single Southern woman in a technological age. Online dating sites, text messaging and the revolving door of insincere connections fits like a shoe that’s too tight and as with any iconoclast she goes emotionally barefoot as often as possible often walking over the red hot coals of family, terminal cancer, death, hidden inhibitions and unrelenting insomnia. Throughout, her anguish is expressed as fear and disease but not as an end unto themselves, but rather as a cathartic necessity for her ultimate transformation into someone stronger and more resilient.
The deeper into this volume of poetry you plunge your sensibility the more acutely aware you become that the writer is of another era, a traditionalist at heart desperately trying to come to terms with her place in a society she is in many ways too sensible and gentile to accept but shrewd enough to adapt and thrive. SOB is a Southern Gothic romantic drama played out in verse with a heroine who battles unrequited love, depression and tragedy with the ultimate outcome still unknown.
Loria Taylor is no wallflower or wilting violet, but rather a bright red luscious rose, thorny but reaching for the white hot sun. She is Margaret Mitchell caught in a time warp and not afraid to write Rhett Butler off the page if need be. The psychological journey for this poet and her readers is as winding, bumpy and unpredictable as an Arkansas country road after a heavy rain. There must be something in the Arkansas air to produce this kind of brutal clarity in verse and something tells me that Maya Angelou would not only approve, but also give a nod of understanding to Ms. Taylor’s wit, courage and skill at climbing the interior walls that separate us from others.
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