Dangerous Enough by Alison Stone. Presa Press, 2014.
Review by Melissa George
In Dangerous Enough, poet Alison Stone has created a work of literature that tells of experiences of a woman. Dangerous Enough has a range of topics: love, marriage, finding oneself, dugs, sex – it is the beauty and the unattractiveness of life told through stunning poetry. The essence of Dangerous Enough is told in a masterful way. As a whole, the poems weave a breathtaking story of women’s experiences, but apart, the poems themselves each tell their own story. The poems depend on one another, while at the same time remaining independent of each other. They create a sense of life as a whole, made up of the smaller experiences and moments that fill everyday life.
Dangerous Enough can be blunt, bold and jarring: “I’m now allowed to pee until/ they peer up my crotch and ass, pretending/ to look for drugs”. But, Stone’s work also holds beauty and elegance, “Ripples connect us/ in this bed of water. / Warm thick air from rain/ obscures the stars.” There is a simplicity threaded throughout many of the works, from the form and style to the word choice: “Step, pause, shuffle, shift of weight/ step, step, turn, my father/ watching her, his movements slow and tender/as though they had all the time in the world”. But that simplicity does not hinder the works. There is no loss in purpose or missing plot from the simplicity. On the contrary, it accentuates the beauty and the femininity of the poems, but most importantly, the larger picture within. When it comes to Stone’s work, no word is useless – every word counts and every word does something. There is no fluff or no cover up – what is portrayed is what a reader is meant to see.
Stone’s poetry is beautifully simplistic, but unmistakably clear. Dangerous Enough grabs a reader’s attention and holds it, word after word and poem after poem. It satisfies one’s appetite and leaves the reader craving for more.
Melissa George lives in Waukesha, WI. She is a 2012 Carroll University graduate, who has returned to Carroll in the fall of 2014 to finish her English degree. She enjoys being back in school and is excited to be furthering her education.