Worth the Candle by Gary Glauber is a meditation on relationships and interactions in a life where “sidewalks were his daily agenda.” These accessible, narrative, and personal poems mix with both gratitude and a touch of melancholy to bring us into a world where we can see “Life as souvenir / words as evidence, / and a debit sheet that proves / the foolishness of / buying on margin.” Here, the present and past walk with us as we are guided into Glauber’s poems — poems crafted so we can experience the world through his nostalgic and thoughtful lens where “these bright lights only last for so long.”
~ Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum and The Daily Poet
Gary Glauber has something to say, and in Worth the Candle, he says it with wit and style and linguistic fillips that can turn from plain to ornate in the spaces between commas. Many of his longish poems tell stories which seem both personal and universal, both real and surreal, and made so through the alchemy of language. My favorite opening here is the start of “Graveyard Shift:” “The vagrant tree sprite / meets the head misfit / far along aisle five, / next to a pyramid of cereal boxes….” They are “searching for meaning / in this 24/7 universe.” This is the poet’s function; this is the lure of Worth the Candle. It’s clear Glauber has been paying attention and it shows on every page of this canny and beguiling collection.
~ Corey Mesler, author of Opaque Melodies that Would Bug Most People and Memphis Movie
Gary Glauber uses a double lens in Worth the Candle to present panoramic views of universal truths and close-ups of personal loss: “like every life, / worth knowing in detail, / worth sharing en masse.” In “Controlled Procedure,” Glauber introduces a cardiologist who performs surgery on a woman who once rejected his love, summing it up with a paradox: “Through clearing an opening, he gets closure.” His ear is attuned to music, both through the subjects of poems —“Music Teacher,” “Anthem,” “Refrain,” “An Octave Apart”— and through his use of devices such as alliteration: “wizards in waiting,” “sundry self-promoters,” “short shrift society,” slant rhyme: “brush … touch,” “morn … warm,” and “bleak … screech,” and rhythms drawn from “the drumbeat of my own heart.” The reader is invited to join him in his journey to “the place where I choose to keep singing, / and, I expect, so will you.”
~ Beth Copeland, author of Transcendental Telemarketer and Traveling Through Glass