5 starts out of 5
What I like most about Alex Dimitrov’s poetry book, Together and by Ourselves, is the simple yet brilliant one liners amidst the narrative poems. First of all, I am a big fan of full length poetry books that contain long poems. Here, I am not ever disappointed. Each poem will take the reader into a world that inhabits poetry, the world of outward circumstances meeting the inner workings of the mind.
This poetry book is divided into five sections. In the first part there are poems that reach deep into the psyche of human motivation and relationships. In the poem, “Champagne,” there is a line that stand out for me, “Believe me, he said, every hand finds the right door without keys.” The poem continues in this manner of interrupting your thoughts once you grasp his meaning, then we jump to actions and sequence of events that makes the poet question and answer existential questions. Dimitrov is a poet that does not stop questioning.
Most of the poems fit precisely on one page, this book is wider than traditional poetry books, to enable the reader to feel the full effect of each sentence. I love the formatting and presentation of each poem. I enjoy the visual, artistic cover of a girl hanging from a door frame, her feet not touching the ground, she could be interpreted as some kind of muse or a human wall in front of a door. I connect with the girl instantly, and perhaps feel a kindred connection to her as I, myself, have felt that disassociation from society and people as if I was floating in space, yet at the same time, in a home, together among objects and people. You can probably write a whole article on the cover alone.
The second part of the poetry book takes us to Los Angeles and the power and the glory of stardom, dreams, illusions and the human condition. On of my favourite poems is in this section, “Jesus in Hollywood,” and the brilliant poem, “American Money.”
“If you die enough times, you become your own saint.” This line is taken from the poem, “Speeding down PCH.” As a true poet’s poet, Alex Dimitrov, reflects on nature and life with hard facts. His unique poetic voice captures your attention and requires the reader to stop, pause and reflect or regret on the philosophy behind his poetry.
The rest of the book I enjoyed on a slower pace. Reading a few poems every day up until the final one, which was epic in its masterpiece way of combining human frailty and emotions.
This is a poetry book to have and to cherish like a marriage of true minds.
I have selected a few pieces but nothing could give this book justice, besides holding it in your hands, and reading a true poet’s mind.
If you would like to read more by Alex Dimitrov, see below
Publishers: Copper Canyon Press