Christal Rice Cooper
River King Press © 2011
By: Jenny Catlin
“Apparently, most people love watching the same basic thing (actions shows on TV, film, etc), as long as the details are different.” (Andy Warhol)
What is pop culture and how do we identify with it? What is the relationship between art and pop culture? Christal Rice Cooper’s gone sane is, essentially pop culture free verse. I didn’t love this collection but the details are different.
Readers are unlikely to experience any great new insight within the somewhat scattered topics Cooper explores in ‘gone sane’. From Princess Dianna to domestic abuse with a smattering of serial killers, these ideas have been worked into the ground in virtually all artistic mediums.
This unusual collection needs to be read with a blank mind in order to really appreciate what she has managed to achieve. The issues and figures explored in these are familiar, if not redundant but there is real-tangible strength of prose in Cooper’s work. Her writing is clear, concise and well formed.
“She didn’t want to go toTexas,
those cowboys act as if they can ride”
Jaqueline Lee Bouvier Onassis
The pencil sketches (though lovely) and famous quotes are a bit of a distraction from Cooper’s work; personally I would have liked to see them used more sparingly but I can appreciate what she is trying to accomplish with their inclusion. Which I assume is an effort to more fully submerge the reader in the time/place/perspective of each subject.
This is actually a relatively enjoyable read, if you either appreciate a heavy pop culture tie in or are able to fully ignore them. Regardless, Cooper demonstrates a strong poetic ability and great promise for things to come from her pen.