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Something Must Happen by Ned Balbo
Date of Review: 
Laryssa Wirstiuk
Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century

Something Must Happen is notable for Balbo’s specificity of language, well-paced lines, grace, and patience for erecting tiny statues in honor of personal and collective memory. The poems in this collection interact with pop culture, reportage, artifact, childhood, friendship, and family.

The poem “Ouija for Beginners” seems to serve as a guide for a reader picking up this collection. How is the reader to interact with the past? Balbo writes: “The Ouija Board requires two believers /seeking favors /of the spirits.” Both the poet and the reader seek some truth, and they must trust that language will help them uncover it in unique ways.