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Poetry. The snare in Robert Eastwood's new poetry collection is the past, historical past interwoven with personal past, a web from which the poet cannot escape and into which the reader will tumble headlong. The scent of citronella wafts through the ages and these pages (though watch out for a certain Colt pistol along the way as well), through tales that link Civil War and Cold War, persona poems and memoir. Mad, maimed Boston Corbett, assassin's assassin, seeks refuge from the demons of the flesh and of war and of his own actions; while in another time a family seeks another form of refuge from the new terror of nuclear annihilation, attempting to put both geography and a retreat from modernity between them and their fears. In lesser hands the result might have been chaotic, but Eastwood's mastery of language and detail weaves these seemingly disparate threads into a rich tapestry of memory. What we cannot escape, we must try to comprehend, perhaps celebrate.

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