White Wine and Medical Marijuana is a book of poetry that explores themes such as femininity, sexuality, weakness, strength, addiction, power, and profanity. It analyzes these themes, while keeping the language casual, simple, and accessible to all readers. Enjoy the power struggle between self criticism and self love, the raw life observations, and the relentless scrutinization of everyday life.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. White Wine & Medical Marijuana: A Compilation of Poems by Julia Cirignano is a lovely poetry collection that will comfort, attract and startle you as the author claims in her preface of the book. I never liked poetry, and I never understand classical music. But I do enjoy classical music because I stopped trying too much to understand it, I just listen now, and I really appreciate it. That’s what I did with this book, I know nothing about poetry, so I just read the poems and kept my mind open. I received confusion and despair, hope and happiness, sadness and fear, anger and humility. The author beautifully orchestrated a beautiful therapeutic method using her poems to heal her psyche from the impact of failed love affairs, life’s challenging events, and the dead ends life seems to throw at us in moments that we think everything is ok. The use of Alcohol and medical Marihuana was part of the author’s attempts to heal her soul from the depression that some times comes after we lose something or someone. The five stages of loss are depicted in the collection, and I think the author found a better way of balancing her life and walking the illuminating path of health and happiness. I liked the fact the poems create sharp images, and some of them gave me the ability to see them in my head as short movies. I connected with some of the poems, but the one I liked is “ The Moment You Lost Your Power.” “Was when I fell in love for the second time…” that’s how it starts, and maybe I liked so much because I was in love for the second time after my divorce a year ago. Julia Cirignano is still young, but her poems reveal a much more “older” personality and ethos. I will not get surprised if in the future this young lady receives the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. I think the best thing to do if you really want to enjoy these poems is to let go, open your mind, forget the everyday little destructions of life. If you can do that, then the poems will travel you to the dimension of Julia’s Cirignano mind. Highly Recommended.
Personal and moving, fifty-eight fine poems. five stars The usual boring boilerplate on star counts is at the end of this review. Let’s get to the fun stuff, Cirignano’s work. First, don’t let the title put you off. There’s much less (almost none) drug content in this than the average book I am asked to review. Second, google (for sure!) absolutely everything of which you are not certain. Cirignano is well read without being a show-off. Relationships inform many of these poems, and some are disturbing, as in The Wolf. For a moment of unpleasant personal insight, which occurs in a public beachside washroom, turn to Stale Urine, where we find this: “The mirror shows you what you’ve been /Running from /The dirtiest parts of your face /And the callused parts of your soul....” For a peek at the human condition, turn to Mortal and then to Fraud. These short poems can’t be communicated without giving you all of each, so trust me here until you get the book in front of you. For a fine prose poem, turn to A Sensual Poem About an Unfortunate Affair, which begins thus: “I like the way you drive your car up to me, casually rolling the window down. I like the way you tie your tie in my mirror and when you shower in my room in the morning.” Spoiler alert: this is the entire poem Physical Therapy: “Your smile makes me giggle like a girl /And your hands make me moan like a woman” Another personal insight occurs in The Beige Wall, which ends thus: “Because sometimes you need /An empty room /To feel full again” Jumping forward in my notes, Football Players begins thus: “I just want to lie in your bed /And pretend that we are in love /Because it makes my life bearable” and if you think that’s a spoiler, you’re in for a deeper experience when you read the entire poem. Finally, let me mention Victor, which begins thus (and has a surprise ending): “One day I will be the thing I want to be /I'll lick the devil and tease an angel...” Now for the star count boilerplate. My personal guidelines, when doing any review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. I try hard to be consistent. Above I’ve given you a few insights into some of the poems marked as favourites in my notes. Poetry is a personal taste. In my opinion, Cirignano is unlike Frost, Auden, e.e.cummings, maybe a bit like Carl Sandburg, a bit like Stephen Crane, yet she has her own voice; a strong and clear one. Five stars feels well justified, even to this tough reviewer. Strongly recommended.