"Cancer Stick #94,912" and Other Poems is a book of poetry, divided into two parts. The first part is titled "Names and Faces" and contains 35 poems. This section contains poems that focus on a certain character, written from the point of view of both man and woman as well as first and third person. The second part is titled "Gray Matters" and contains 39 poems. These poems are almost entirely in the first person.
The length of each poem varies, but the poet's style of contrasting long and very short lines is consistent throughout. The subject matter covers a broad range from the title poem of smoking to outer space, some centering on more tender moments like "Watching With Our Ears," which describes a moment with a daughter, and some including graphic detail like in "The Laundromat," which some readers might find offensive.
Coke Brown Jr.'s style is easily accessible -- word length and choice create readily seen images and feelings, and do not alienate the reader. His style also encourages thought. Though the subjects of his poems may seem common, by choosing to write poetry about them, he elevates them. He shows that the small things are important. He also shows that poetry does not have to be abstract.
poem in particular, "The Empty Journal," reached out to me as if that
moment and those feelings were mine. I suspect that anyone who reads
this book will find a few poems that will ring true for them. One does
not need to be a scholar of poetry to enjoy this book.
--J. Anne Mauck-- Inscriptions Magazine
Inscriptions Magazine (Vol. 3 Issue 22)