Dale Jr.'s Reviews > The Smell of Good Mud

The Smell of Good Mud by Lauren Zúñiga
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's review
Nov 16, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: poetry, 3-star

"We are a museum with free admission. We are
not always the best curators."
~Lauren Zuniga

It's always a challenge for me to read "performance" poets from the page instead of actually hearing them. Seeing their movement. Feeling the way they curve words around my head when I close my eyes. It's even more challenging if I've witnessed an actual performance of said poet prior to reading their book. And so it is with Lauren Zuniga.

Lauren is a being of many elements. She is down-home, dusty-road loving country gal with splashes of urban beats and hip hop wrapped in feminism and motherhood.

She radiates energy when you're around her and don't dare let those freckles make you think she's just a pretty face. She will spit fire. She will cradle you in soothing tones. She will compliment you on your vest. She will get wild. And then she'll happily give you a hug. Free whether you purchase her book or not.

Lauren performed at a recent poetry slam orchestrated by an English teacher friend of mine. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a judge, so I had an incredible front-row seat for Lauren's performance. And I got the free vest compliment weaved into her opening poem.

Compliments aside, she captivated the audience. Her work spans so many topics from motherhood to pickup trucks and partying on the hill. She speaks of women's rights and gender issues. She crafts words of inspiration and lets you know that your dysfunction is your dysfunction. You chop that shit up and make it into a masterpiece...everything ain't gonna be alright. Everything is going be amazing.

What I wish I could have done was have Lauren read her book to me. I want to hear it from her lips. I want to see those words take flight like crows. I want to see her eyes light up and burn. Reading her book alone, I feel I'm missing out.

And I am. 'Cause there's just that one aspect of a performance poet which will never translate through from the page. It's not a bad thing. Just makes me want to go out and see her perform again if she ever swings back around.

Don't let that certain missing piece stop you from checking out Lauren's work, though. She's written some incredible pieces and they're found in this book. And you can't miss "Small Enough to Fit", a piece comprised of some of the most mind-boggling things her son has said to her. We both agreed we wished our adult poet minds could think of some of the crazy shit kids say.

Read Lauren. Better yet, go see Lauren. It's worth every second. The three stars is only because Lauren hasn't read me this book from cover to cover. And maybe it'll make her come back around.

I'll buy you another drink, Lauren.
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Reading Progress

November 16, 2012 – Started Reading
November 16, 2012 – Shelved
November 16, 2012 –
page 53
November 19, 2012 –
page 68
November 19, 2012 –
page 78
November 20, 2012 –
page 86
November 26, 2012 –
page 120
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: poetry
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: 3-star
November 26, 2012 – Finished Reading

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