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Pasquale Trozzolo

Adult; Poetry; (Market)

Un/Reconciled is a story of a love gone off told through a collection of 29 poems. It reminds couples that relationships take work even when in a powerful love. It is essential to capture the magnetic tension experienced in the first weeks and months of the relationship and find ways to keep discovering it even as the mundane of ordinary life interferes.
In Trozzolo’s second poetry collection, readers are led through a series of poem-vignettes that offer fragmentary glimpses into a doomed love story fraught with turbulence, passion, and woe. The collection begins with a preface detailing an elusive woman whom the speaker has been “writing poems about [...] for decades” and doesn’t “want to forget,” and most of the selections that follow include a few introductory lines of prose addressed to this longtime muse, providing narrative context and a juxtaposing tension. Trozzolo’s shadowy, concise stanzas about a man captivated by the memory of a lover who “kill[ed] the future so beautifully” behave like planets: unstoppable in their motion of revolution, of departure and return.

Motion is a common thread in the collections’ metaphors, which compare the woman to “a ship at sea” or the couple’s love to an airplane struggling in flight, while at one point the speaker professes that “watching you come and go was almost perfect.” Additionally, certain words and clauses reappear throughout, which make the collection function as a sort of poetic wheel in tandem with the speaker’s boomerang recollections. Clever ambiguities shade meaning, even in a despairing entry like “Rumble,” which concerns the realization that a romantic partner too often prefers to be alone but can be read, in its climax, to hint at something luxuriant in the misery: “This is meaningless/ at its best.”

In some ways, UN/Reconciled is an ill-fated love story: two lovers meet, love, and eventually fall apart. But this collection is also a report on the behavior of a memory that cannot be forgotten; it comes and goes, just as the woman’s love, “distant and familiar” once did, but the recall never ends. Readers looking for poems on heartbreak and loss will find value in Trozzolo’s collection that is at times striking and offers a somewhat sophisticated brand of sharp-edged melancholy.

Takeaway: Trozzolo’s sensuous, saturnine collection finds a poet struggling over the memory of a lost love.

Great for fans of: Tyler Knott Gregson, Rupi Kaur.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A