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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
“Fine lines define/this road map etched upon my face/a highway of information/ stored in each and every turn.” Thus begins the title poem of Alicia Winski’s "Running on Fumes." The lines to which the poet refers are hard-won truths, shared with a gritty passion and honesty that makes this collection nearly impossible to put down. If you read these poems and find yourself asking questions like “how did she know?” and “who let her inside my life?” you are not alone. The experiences of which Winski writes so insightfully are truly universal. From 'Looking Glass': “I‘ve given little to the men who/ would love me and/everything to the men who would not.”
Although nearly all of the poems in this unflinching collection are penned from a feminine, first-person point of view, their scope is not limited to female experience - the pain and frustration they convey will resonate with male audiences as well. Men of all ages will find either their pain or their behavior (or both) on these pages; there is ample fodder here for self-examination and reflection. These poems are raw, unmasked indictments, from which no one is immune. In the course of her journey from abject despair through heartbreak and disillusionment to eventual acceptance, Winski addresses all of the demons that have preyed upon her and calls them by their rightful names, even when she must reveal her own weaknesses and vulnerabilities in doing so. "Running on Fumes" is a poetic exercise in courage and an inspiration to anyone making the journey from pain to wisdom.