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The sixth collection of poetry to be released by Thomas Porky McDonald, Vespers at Sunset: Poems 2005-200 7 sees the poet alternately reaching back and looking forward, with the usual five-book format along for the ride. Up first is The Fat Parrot Diaries, a volume which contains a number of reflective pieces, like "Deuce" and "47," about Frank Brady, a friend whom McDonald has alluded to often in the past. The passing of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks inspired the impassioned verse "The Buses Won't Be Running in Heaven Tonight" and the growing specter of aging exballplayers spurred the longing ode "As Those Years Deplete the Roster." Diaries is complemented by its immediately succeeding set, Drfling Shadows, whose title piece contains lasting images also seen in both "Lookin' Out Mikey's Window" and "A Vision of Kirby," written for an old friend and a baseball icon, respectively. The present is even more in evidence in Shadows, with a country visit ("At Lackawanna," and "The Life Goes On and On") and a Midwest trip ("The Guy From Midwood," "The Other Side of the Street") supplying the muse.
In the Alley brings the poet back to New York, as the day-to-day ("The Room That Con Ed Missed"), the great beyond ("Till the Canyons Evolving Are Done") and the most evil day of all ("At 8:45") each pitch a tent. As always, baseball is well represented, with the city of Baltimore ("Legends House," "Ripken County") providing the latest stop on the tour. Alley also contains thoughts of impending doom ("A Feeling, As Yet Unknown") and Eternal gratefulness ("Those Who Set You Free"), balanced by a seminal classic ("A Time").
The final two books of Vespers are Frankie Rules, a book centered on the memory of Brady ("Frankie's Cure," "Frankie's Sport," Frankie's Heart and the title piece), and Old Phenoms, where the soon to be razed Shea Stadium ("The Space Beyond 1' Street," "Queries to an Usher on Doomsday") stands astride a pair of more personal farewells ("The Bond of the Eternal Souls," "The Window on the Second Floor"). Another representative collection from the kid from Queens.