An Abstract Waltz by jacob erin-cilberto

5x8 paperback, 104 pages, 80 poems

Published by Water Forest Press

Projected release date: December 2009



To purchase, contact the author: or   $12.00 + $1.50 s&h


jacob erin-cilberto has put together a book of 80 poems that are intense, versatile, raw and at times full of traditional imagery.  "An Abstract Waltz" is an eye-catching, metaphorically abstract collection of poems that is perfect for the lover of poetry who enjoys the world of avant-garde literature.


cilberto’s poems are also a collection of contrast. In the poem "A Challenged Artist," jacob uses raw tone in lines of the poem, "i love fall/i want to stick to the tree/stay in the womb/i don't want to wake up screaming/i'm afflicted/i'm forgotten," along with a political comment,” fall - oh yes, a middle class leaf tumbling to the ground/to be burned in the pile and forgotten'." Whereas jacob erin-cilberto switches to a soft traditional poetic flair in "February Refrain," a short two stanza poem. "a warmth she misses - - /long before spring's birth/realistic flowers face chocolate rain/sun melts the mundane/exchanges Hershey kisses/with earth." 


cilberto's poems, "The Monarch Turns Blue" and "Italian Cream and an Oldsmobile Dream" reflect on life as a youth, as a part of the "hippie" generation.  In "The Monarch Turns Blue," in the first stanza jacob writes; "if only we could go back, /but the 60s have been crushed/like caterpillars crossing the road in an autumn morn." In the second and third lines of the second stanza he continues, "it was still the summer of love/but then woke up in a commune." In this poem there is still a longing for that time in his life that he would like to relive once again. In the first two lines of "Italian Cream and an Oldsmobile Dream," cilberto writes, "i remember 16 candles/when bones were young and restless" followed by the first four lines of the second stanza,” but we are now, and vinyl has been replaced by plastic/and my credit card heat/has been too many times reissued rejected."  There is a personal story in the poems, and an outpouring of identifiable pain.


jacob erin-cilberto’s "An Abstract Waltz" is a collage of lyrically abstract, powerful poetry, with a political comment.  cilberto also has a sense of humor as in "Just Like Them," and "Nuts."  The reader's eyes do remain hungry and fixed on this collection of poetry.


"The Abstract Waltz" is a book of poems for those seeking vibrant, no-nonsense, emotionally charged writing.

Reviewed by Holly Bianchi