Unfounded by Michael Trocchia
FutureCycle Press, 2015
Reviewed by Julie Demoff-Larson
Michael Trocchia’s Unfounded (FutureCycle Press, 2015) is rooted in the abstract with just enough concrete images to get the gist of what he is trying to accomplish in this short poetry collection of 28 poems. Arranged into three sections, the poems almost take the reader on a journey through loss, meditation, and philosophical meanderings. The best of the best in Unfounded have been previously published in various journals and includes a few other stand-outs including “Man Goes Out for Walk, Finds Dagger, Etc.” and “Playing House.”
This is not a collection for the lazy reader. It is clear that Trocchia’s themes stem from philosophy, metaphysics, and personal relationships–mixing concepts that create a level of difficulty that sometimes requires the reader to do a little research. There is a slight bitterness and a greater despair that seems to be prevalent throughout most of the collection; however, Trocchia successfully juxtaposes folly and joy into some of the work that is more easily grasped as found in “Man Goes Out for Walk, Finds Dagger, Etc.”
“…Oh I had/the pleasure of honest looks/seated children, around me:/a choice of weapons. Their hero/ failed them, fled, and so/soon after, as it would/have it, my name rang/with good cheer.”
“…The house/sighed like a fat man. I gathered/the sharpest words under/my breath. I pivoted, made/great strides, then bored/myself with a dagger/from even a darker age.”
To fully realize the irony and metaphor in the poem a general understanding of Oswald Spengler philosophies in The Decline of the West is a must. Of course Trocchia realizes this too and notes “After Oswald Spengler” at the start.
The book itself is visually stunning with a cover of what seems to be a close-up of the palm of a hand–the fine lines that make us unique and the telling roads that each of us travel. And props to FutureCycle Press for putting out a quality publication. If you are looking for a poetry collection that you want to take your time with and/or possibly while studying philosophy or your belief system, then consider Unfounded. There is some good work here.