My Blue Heaven

I was very excited to start reading Blue Suburbia by Laurie Lico Albanese. But when I opened it up, I noticed that the lines never made it to the end of the page.

“Wait a minute! This is poetry!” I thought to myself.

Well, that wasn’t a terrible thing, but I had misread the subtitle: almost a memoir. It’s not the conventional memoir in prose form. It’s poetic, it’s lyrical. It’s a whole new way to tell a personal story.

Albanese’s semi-memoir examines her life growing up and her own journey to becoming a wife and mother. While the lines are short, they pack a punch. One of my favorites comes near the end, when she brings up exes and former roommates who have reconnected to her through an online networking site.


It seems everyone

wants to apologize

for how they treated me

in years gone by.


I tell them thanks

but there’s no room for your

in this life.

I loved those lines. I also loved her reaction to seeing Picasso’s Guernica painting:

his anger struck me like horses’ hooves

the cacophony of battle choking me with terror

What I loved most about this memoir is how it allows the reader to perceive the story. We have to fill in the gaps in our own ways and even though we aren’t given a full-written picture, the concise lines say so much.

Apparently less is more.