Review of ‘Flashcards’ at Piece Meal Reviews
Some good bits:
Before reading it aloud to my boyfriend, I felt compelled to explain the format: Each poem is a rectangular block cropped to size and divided into two “sides” with a double forward slash. I wasn’t sure how to convey this, so we agreed that I should say “flip” when I came to the division.
Based purely on poetic merit, each “back” section could stand as a piece of writing on its own. Subtle wordplay in “GLHF” (such as the warm vowel sounds linking “someone,” “rolls,” and “tongue,” or the nearly equidistant spacing between the three “s” words) creates an affecting rhythm and continuity. Combined with the niche subject of gaming, Nowak’s work inevitably raises the issue of knowledge and contextualization of subject matter for artistic purposes.
The familiar simplicity of flashcards as a learning tool lends an appealingly prosaic touch, and in a way that avoids dryness or too stark a constrast with the second parts of the poems.
If you’re curious to know more about Thomas and his thoughts on literature and gaming, be sure to check out his Q&A from a few months ago.