*_Real Karaoke People_ by Ed Bok Lee (New Rivers Press, $13.95)*
I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading poetry until I picked up Ed Bok Lee’s Real Karaoke People. If the cover doesn’t grab you (a close-up of a red fish on ice) the verse certainly will. Rich in metaphor, Lee combines post-modern flair with ethnic images so vibrantly you might think the book is illustrated as well.
Some of Lee’s work is reminiscent of a wounded writer—healing intense pain through the written word—and it sometimes feels almost too personal. However, he writes phrases of such magnitude, the reader is forced to pause and reflect: “A strange lust, this life. Everywhere beautiful souls bathing in grief.” Most delightful for me, though, is the concise picture of the New American experience. Savor and enjoy.