Robin Blassberg A&E Editor
New York City native Scott Laudati’s book, “Camp Winapooka,” published by Bone Machine Inc., serves as an emotional look into “the full spectrum of a human, not just the parts I want them to see,” according to Laudati.
This book came at a nomadic time in his life. “The feelings of despair and a longing to go home are a lot of what this book is about,” he explains, which proves to be clear through the different sections of the novel. Each section is uniquely reflective of a different part of the country, with “lapsarian fatigue” being written in New York City, NY, and “boondocked in perico” in Hereford, TX.
You are thrown into the thick of it right away through Laudati’s honesty in his first poem, “my first night back.” You can feel his yearning as he signs off the poem with “and that future we always talked about / can’t come soon enough.” “my bluest valentine” is filled with reminiscing the past, wishing him and the subject could “drive to the poconos / to the mini golf / where we made dirty bets / around the windmill.”
Laudati urges readers to “appreciate what you have right now before the world gets any worse.” This social commentary is portrayed through many of his poems, such as “heroes,” where he explains that “they talk a lot about heroes now / because the world has none.” This poem feels vulnerable, giving an exclusive look into the growing pains of growing up in what seems to have been a dysfunctional family. He reveals that the “kids can’t go to bed / without kissing the tv goodnight / and after the first mistake / and two marriage-savers are tucked in,” hinting at trouble lying under the surface.
He hopes his book will serve as a “mirror of our society,” highlighting the fact that “no one is all good or all bad.” Poems such as “the throne.” and “men.” Laudati is confident that “the throne was always a funny thing / all men want it / and no one ever knows / what to do with it” in “the throne.” and questions “the things / they say / make / a man” in “men.” His poems will leave you questioning your position in society and society as a whole through his use of rhetorical questions.
Laudati’s book is available for purchase on Amazon. His next book is “Play the Devil,” a love story set in New Jersey.