After the Steaming Stops
By Alice Osborn
(Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Paperback, 9781599483535, 41pp.)
Publication Date: March 23, 2012
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“In Tillie Olson's ‘I Stand Here Ironing,’ we've seen the image of the ironing board and the steam press used before as a revelation of the hazards of the American dream of perfection (particularly for women)—perfect house, perfect marriage, perfect family, perfect composure. In these poignant poems, Alice Osborn hauntingly and painfully updates and expands the use of domestic imagery as an expression of that narrow dream's tyranny, adding to it the expectations and regimentation inherited from a successful military grandfather, and the inevitable insufficiency of everything else.”
“From snakes to movie stars to childhood memories of parents, lesbian neighbors and more,
Alice Osborn’s persona persistently captures a certain wonder and bewilderment of the existing child inside us all. Some poems end with powerful lines and insight such as regarding her mother’s emotional distance and disdain, ‘You say plants are easier/ to raise than children and I agree.’ Or a declaration about her father’s beer drinking and unorthodox behavior, ‘Forgiveness is a selfish act.’ This is a book crammed with images, explicit descriptions, characters and emotions. It needs to be read.”