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Dealing with Men by Robin Stratton | Word Riot

November 15, 2009      

Dealing with Men by Robin Stratton

Review by Casey Quinn

Most people spend their lives really trying to understand the delicate balance of what makes a relationship work. They meet people, they date, some get married, some don’t and all the while they are learning from each interaction a little more about the opposite sex. Learning a little bit about themselves.  What makes them tick, what they like and dislike, who is the right person and how they can tell.

In Robin Stratton’s chapbook, Dealing with Men (ISBN 0-9753211-3-7), she takes the reader on a journey of various interactions and displays the results of what happens when men and women collide in life.

The short collection of poems and micro fiction dive into a complex world where Robin exposes the fragile line we walk when dealing with the opposite sex. Stratton opens up her heart and lays her emotions on the line for the world to read and relate and learn.

Her poem “Even Though” is a perfect example why headaches and relationships are so common:

driving distracted as I
fumble for my cell phone
we squabbled this morning
over some dumb thing
and even though your call
won’t resolve the issue
and no apology is forthcoming
I still want to hear your voice.

A scenario that all readers who have been in a relationship will relate and written so smoothly that all readers will enjoy. Reading the chapbook you find yourself nodding your head as if Robin was in the room telling you something that had just happened to her and you as a friend are trying to console or be happy for her. The chapbook makes you part of her world and the rollercoaster she experiences.

Robin perfectly paints both the good and bad side in Dealing with Men and the chapbook works as a how to guide when it comes to understanding why women act and react to any situation.  Her fluid writing style allows a reader to consume each piece of writing with ease and the emotion that motivated her to write the piece jumps off of the page for the reader to embrace.

After one poem, “The Game” I found myself with a need to question my wife if she had done what the narrator had done as the poem was too natural, too possible it became probable. Here is a short excerpt from the poem:

It was the first game I have ever watched
and yet I converse with ease, or so he thinks
not realizing that he is doing all the talking
and I am just agreeing.
A successful strategy.

The chapbook was published by Big Table Publishing and is available for $10 on their website It is well worth the money and pays for itself with the light it sheds in the wonderfully aggravating world of relationships.

About the reviewer:

Casey Quinn writes prose and poetry. He also edits the online magazine Short Story Library. His first poetry collection Snapshots of Life was released in 2009 by Salvatore Publishing.

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