Love Bones: A Collection of Poetry
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By Ronald Oliphant
The latest book of poetry, Love Bones, shows how Oliphant has matured as a man and a poet. At 35, he understands the respect and courtesy to be shown to a woman who holds herself above reproach. He knows class in a modern Black woman.
In his poem, ’Pretty Lady,’ he calls it like he sees it:
Or in ’The Joker’ with the mind games where Black men act like a stone, and shut down emotionally when the relationship goes awry:
Certain poets have a way of saying things that illuminate and inform. In ’The Scoundrel,’ he highlights the thugs and roughnecks who make a contest of love by scoring romance conquest after conquest:
With titles reflecting love and lust, Oliphant has brought a thoughtful, perceptive book about that most enduring of emotions. The rest of the slender volume telegraphs the contents of the poems with very obvious titles such as ’I Let Her Fly Away,’ ’Cooling The Heat,’ ’Touch,’ ’Virgin,’ ’No One Could Love You More,’ ’Lips Like Wine,’ ’Forbidden Fruit,’ ’Off Beat.’
Like any red-blooded African American male, Oliphant has embraced the time-honored cycles of adulthood and sexual consciousness, permitting himself to feel a tinge of shame and regret. Sometimes he has not told the whole truth to the women he's known. Sometimes he's done them wrong. Sometimes he's betrayed them.
With the signature poem, ’Growing Up,’ he comes clean and confesses that sometimes he has not been a good boy. Now he wants to grow up and be a mature adult in his relationships with the ladies.
Reading Love Bones reminds the reader of listening an smooth
old school Motown jam ’ direct, heartfelt, and life-affirming.