Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

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Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me. In particular, “The House on Pine Street” this poem describes the poet and his childhood home, how memories of riding bikes with friends, first kisses, innocence and that unique bond we have with our first home. Some memories are cherished and some we try to forget. His attention to detail and imagery is so accurate you feel as if you are looking at the home standing right next to him. You are observing and feeling his memories too. This is the the true nature of literature to share your art through the magic of words.

Here are the poems I read over and over again and will continue to do so.

“Maybe Poets Are Not Liars” just by the title I knew I would love this poem as a poet I understood it.

“Decaying Qualities”

I’m reading Mary Oliver

because there is no poet on earth

better to read

in the quiet sunshine.”

This poetry book is a must read for readers who adore Mary Oliver and Jim Harrison, this genre of poetry brings reminds me why I love poetry so much.

“Belgium”

The swell of time

is illuminated with

terrible moments-

more being born

each golden morning. ”

In “Things To Appreciate” Nicholas Trandahl shows us once again how to appreciate the moment, the objects that bring us joy in that moment, such as a book, a typewriter, smoking a pipe, having a cocktail. We see throughout his work that capturing these moments in poems is his forte. The times he is surrounded by his family and feels the love, these are the moments we all go through but rarely stop to think that it is fleeting. This is the magic of being a true poet, living in carp diem and writing about it. Trandahl captures these moments and paints them on his poetic canvas. Time and place is essential, his poems visit Wyoming, Martha’s Vineyard and deep forests. As someone who spent many childhood summers in The Cape, I understand the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and relate to the scenery described, as well. Towns, cities are also relevant to Trandahl’s poems. The feeling one gets upon looking at quaint towns in the New England coast, can also bring back childhood moments.

 

Another theme throughout this book is war and the brutal nature of it. Equally, solitude and finding yourself as an individual by being truly alone and listening to yourself. This is so hard for most people to do, but as a poet, this is essential. The escape from the every day life and the solitude required to write, the discipline, the calmness. Trandahl evokes that calmness with his description of nature and his walks with his family and daughters. Everyone is in this book whom he loves. There is no particular order, there is only the poet’s observation.

 

Trandahl’s reflective poems makes the reader think about all that is important in the universe and not once is money brought up. This is the wisdom and power of words that have experience. When a poet has so many experiences in his or her life, there is more to discover about human nature and our motivations. If there is anything positive I can take from reading Pulling Words, it is to appreciate the moments that we have with our family, the universe and our own life experience.

 

Nicholas Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

Twitter: @PoetTrandahl

Facebook: Poet Nicholas Trandahl

You can purchase his book here:

 

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A punch drunk poet: Book Review of Stupid Flowers by Brice Maiurro

IMG_42595 out of 5 stars.

I have to say receiving a signed copy of this book in the mail was a real treat. I loved it from the first page and the first look. I know when a poetry book will be one of my favourites or not, by the feel, look and glancing at a few poems,  I instantly knew this one would be one of them. Brice Maiurro’s debut poetry book, Stupid Flowers is a poetry book with a certain rawness to it that I could relate to.

Brice Maiurro brings in actual events, whether true or not, and combines them in every day poetry. Written in lowercase and with unusual witty titles each poem stands out for its own quirky themes. Titles such as, “Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s” make you smile and by the end of the poem, make you reflect on life, destiny and society as well as church. Maiurro has a way of stirring the poetry pot with the important ingredients floating on top and the mundane sinking to the bottom. In the poem “3015 Kamia” there is a section that I read over and over again.

“i’ve been taught to look at the mountains

the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings

but you reminded me how god hides

in the places you’d least expect to see her”

What I adore about these four lines is how poetry, the way it is supposed to be written, should not tell you what the poem is about, but should hint and leave it open-ended. First off, he compares man made art, such as murals, to the sky and in doing this he includes the concrete with the abstract, to emphasize his point of beauty and attraction is not limited to nature, as most poets feel; in essence, we see it as we drive or walk in the city. Murals are an oddity, because people do stare and love art on walls; the grandiose and mystery of it, the colours and the talent, this alongside god being a woman, is a poem that leaves you in a reflective mood.

Each poem and use of stream of consciousness leaves you to interpret this poetry book with all its implications. Poetry is ambiguous, this is what most people find hard to understand about poetry. By leaving some things unsaid, you, the reader, fill in the details, and Brice Maiurro, does an exceptional job of this. The interpretation of his poems leaves the reader to imagine what and this is what literature is all about.

There was one poem, “dear maria” which especially touched me and made me cry. Not only is my daughter’s name, coincidentally Maria, but she is also going through her own little turmoil as a teenager, and this poem was reflective of all the maria’s. I made her read it, and at sixteen, she wants to read this poetry book. It is an outstanding poem, and by far, my favourite of this whole collection.

Brice Maiurro makes up his own composition of life with these poems in Stupid Flowers. This is a debut collection of poetry by this poet out of Denver, Colarado, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.

I think this is a valuable book, in consideration of what other poetry books are out there circulating in the poetry section.  This book reflects the heart of a true poet with a talent to see the unseen.

Short Bio:
Brice Maiurro is a poet out of Denver, Colorado. Stupid Flowers marks his first full collection of poetry, published by Punch Drunk Press. His poetry has been featured by The Denver Post, Birdy Magazine and Suspect Press. His poetry blog, Flashlight City Blues, was recognized as one of the top 25 poetry blogs online by Feedspot. Brice also enjoys road tripping. His goal is to visit every National Park in the United States.

Published by Punch Drunk Press Ltd.IMG_0800

Instagram: @maiurro

Twitter: @IAmBricesTweets

 

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A poet with a deep voice. Book Review for “Together and by Ourselves” by Alex Dimitrov

 

Book Review

IMG_71355 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
http://www.alexdimitrov.tumblr.com
Twitter: @alexdimitrov
Publishers: Copper Canyon Press

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Book Review of Scissors and Paper Hearts by Lex Letters

Lex Letters and I follow each other on Twitter and we instantly connected through our poems. I read her poetry book and couldn’t put it down. It is a poetry book full of passionate verse and full of a soul that touches your heart. “She was the exception to every rule,” her poem “Undiscovered” begins and that is essentially how the entire book grabs you. It shakes you bends you, and makes you search deep inside yourself for that love that broke you.

Lex Letters’ poetry evokes a yearning for lovers and longing, never quite fulfilled. It is as if lovers are talking, writing poems to each other. In her poem, “Hate” this excerpt stood out for me:

“Breathing is for the living

The rest of us are dying to survive

on expelled breaths and ink

forcing feeling onto paper

trying to make sense of the pain.”

Her poems take you to the past, the present pain and the distant future. The poems mostly live in the past and recount a relationship in moments she can’t forget through memories of being loved and of loving. Take this passage from her poem, “Imagine” where she tells us where she writes from, “I write from an internal beckoning, a raw and emotional grave.”

In this collection “Scissors and Paper Hearts” there is poetry that heals, letting go of a loved one, breaking up, scorned lovers, rage and a tumultuous love affair. I will not spoil the ending, but it is gut-wrenching.

In the poem, “Unsaid,” it begins, “Paper hearts stained, folded into letters, stuffed in pockets, left to be unread.” This, in essence is the crux of this poetry book. How we all live in glass houses, how worlds can fall apart in love, how passionately we can love another person, sometimes even more than they can possibly love us, resulting in an emptiness that most people who fall in love recognize and can connect with her poems. I highly recommend this poetry book.

 

Lex Letters can be found on the following social media links:

Twitter: @_inkaddictionx

Facebook : @Lex Letters Author Page

https://www.spilledinkwellwritingwordpresscom.wordpress.com/about

https://www.amazon.com/Lex-Letters/e/B06W9K8Q6W

Poetry Book Review: Captured Moments Inspiration captured in verse by J.D. Estrada.

J. D. Estrada’s poetry book was a true feast of words and poetic forms. He makes everything sound poetic, even sipping a cup of tea with honey. I enjoyed reading this book very much. I am so used to reading romantic poetry this was so refreshing to me.

“Honey sings and taste buds listen,

with each cup of tea,

Until empty.

The cup does glisten.”

Honey, cantaloupe, or any other simple food that evokes taste for the poetic soul, J.D. can find poetry in all walks and flavours of life.

“Scale” is an example of good sound advice coming from a poet along with a rhyming unique verse.  He observes the sky from an objective view point as a spectator,

“As I drink the sky, I gently swoon,

copper clouds, silver moon.”

The poem, “Retrospect” is my type of poetry, full of longing and love for a lover. “I love you like a lost  kiss in the corner of a memory,” it starts off and briefly illustrates how memories and moments are a mere passing like a wink of an eye.

J.D. Estrada has written a multitude of haikus that explore the human condition and the mystery of truth, desire and expression.

The way he describes drinking a cup of coffee in the poem “Note to Self,” makes me love coffee even more, if possible. I loved everything about this book. It has an old feel to it, J.D. Estrada is a poet with an old soul, he writes poetry with messages about humanity, people and the bonds that tie us together.

I would recommend this poetry book.

Here is his bio and go check out his books.

Bio:

As a child, JD Estrada knew he wanted to be an inventor, he just never knew he’d end up being just that but using words. Estrada is a Puerto Rican indie author who is always looking to better his high score in life. A fan of creativity, he takes the freedom of being an indie writer and indulges in a variety of genres and storylines, consistently pushing his writing as much as possible. He currently has 8 published works including two full length novels, 4 poetry collections (3 in English and one in Spanish), a  short story collection and a bilingual collection including poetry, short stories, and essays. For this year, he expects to release several new titles including 2 new poetry collections, a sci fi novella, and his first YA fantasy novel.

As for links to social media, here you go:

Website – www.jdestradawriter.blogspot.com

Read me in book form – https://smile.amazon.com/JD-Estrada/e/B00CP4834O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473866995&sr=8-1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/JDEstradawriter

Instagram – http://instagram.com/jdestradawriter/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/

Facebook page – www.facebook.com/JDEstradawriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/j-d-estrada

 

 

Review of “Honeyface, Hers Truly” by Maria Magdeleina Lotfi

I met a poet with an old soul trapped in the body of a twenty-two year old. I told her I was trapped in a forty-eight year old body and we understood each other.

We both come from Montreal.

We both come from immigrant parents.

We are both poets.

We exchanged our books on Sherbrooke street. It was a meeting of the minds. We both agreed that we come from a different world and not many people understand us. Upon reading the first page of Maria Magdeleina Lotfi’s poetry book, I felt the pull of her words upon me.

The feeling you get from reading this book is one view from a poet’s life. You delve into her art and admire her way of writing and view of the world. The isolation of being a poet, the freedom, the yearning…all these emotions are poured onto every page.

 

I especially love this poem:

poets

poets

are like

werewolves.

their true selves

come to life

under

the full moon,

howling

their soul out.

 

I must have folded a dozen edges on the corners of my favourite poems. I will go back to read them and that is what makes a poetry book stand out. Going back to read it again.

Her book is full of wonder and knowledge, soul searching and experience. If you want to get drunk on a poetry book, get drunk on this one. If you want to read a refreshing poetry book full of culture, family, love, pain and love, this is the one.

In her poem, “crazy.” Maria Magdeleina Lotfi writes,

” when people call me crazy,

it’s as if they’re pointing out

a mental disease.

i am not a freak.

i am you are me.

i speak out loud

your darkest thoughts.

i wear the details they miss.

i love what is ugly.

i am overwhelmed

as the water

that fills sirens’ lungs.

i don’t twist words

you hurt me with.

i remember them exactly

like old photographs,

and the tone of your voice

with which they were said,

and the hesitation

that surrounds them

never escapes me.”

It is in these effortless ease with words, that Ms. Lotfi writes all the words you cannot say as a writer and poet. There are dozens of poems and prose that leave you breathless.

It was a pleasure to meet such a soul and it is the beginning of a poetic friendship that I will hold dear to me.

Below are some links where you can discover her work.

 https://www.amazon.com/HoneyFace-Truly-Maria-Magdeleina-Lotfi-ebook/dp/B01FRU7212
 

 

 https://mariamagdeleinalotfi.wordpress.com/books/

http://mariamagdeleina.tumblr.com/post/144806145932/aahhhhh-here-it-is-finally-honeyface-hers

And her Instagram, where we met…

Book review of Five Days of Falling.

imageIf you want to read poetry that can be compared to the beauty of the universe then buy this book. I folded so many poems I lost track. The romance in Five Days of Falling is dripping from each page. It is so full of longing and ache, heartache and love, I swear I wanted to go slower and relish in each poem, but I couldn’t stop from reading it all. I follow Dan @5daysoffalling on Twitter and was astounded at what Dan can do within 140 characters, so I took a chance and bought his book. I was not disappointed. In fact, I am disappointed there were not more poems! I recommend this poetry book to all the lovers out there who yearn for the one they want, for all the people who can appreciate the beauty of poetry and the heights and lows it can take you to. Bravo, Dan! Absolutely loved it.
Five Days of Falling by Tokens of Silence
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1530180783/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1456222914&sr=1-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=five+days+of+falling&dpPl=1&dpID=41GHxp0z0YL&ref=plSrch

My book review of Lost Yellow by Nicholas Trandahl

Lost Yellow A poetry collection by Nicholas Trandahl published by Swyers Publising/2013

First off I have to say, I don’t usually do book reviews. I do little short goodreads reviews, but this poetry book needs it. No, it calls for it.

I discovered Nicholas Trandahl’s work on Twitter and loved what I read so I purchased his first poetry book collection. Lost Yellow is a poetry book that takes a walk into the mind of a soldier in war torn Middle East. It feels as if he is alone in a forest, walking among his fellow soldiers, but devoid of feeling. He sees the horrors of war, and this in itself is difficult for any person, but as a poet and a lover of humanity, it is even harder to digest. Poets are a sensitive bunch of writers.

This  poetry book also dives into depression and suicide and how PTSD has affected so many soldiers’ lives. Gunshots and battle would drive most men to combat their own inner demons. Trandahl displays this with certainty and grabs the reader’s attention.

Trandahl’s prose delves deep into the heart of a soldier, witnessing his brothers die on the battlefield. When I fold pages in poetry books, it means I am going back to that page. It kept on happening with Lost Yellow. The first page I folded was on Regret. The following is an excerpt,

“In Hell’s hot breath, storm of war.

A siren, air’s ominous drum.

I abandoned you,

Oh! Comrades in Arms.

I should’ve stayed with you.

I should’ve burnt with you.

Lived and died with you.”

The progression of the collection moves forward from the battlefield to his time at home after being discharged to his attempted suicide and finally to achieving some kind of inner peace within himself. However, the battle here is not on land, but within a soul. The hardest part of life is surviving it, and Trandahl explores this struggle of wanting to die versus wanting to live. Plain and simple. Yet how this can eat a person alive.

The poem Depression really stood out for me.

“I will besiege your mind,

Your intellect, your body,

And you very soul.

I will cast your shadows,

And those around you,

In a more vast profound,

Unholy glory of darkness.

I will make you forget,

All the things that once,

Brought joy to your heart.

I will force you to take pills,

Where once you were so,

So very adamant against them.

I will kill you, Nicholas.

If you give me an inch,

I will kill you.

I could not pick an excerpt, for the whole poem is spectacular. Here the poet embodies the true killer is within us. We have the power and the strength to live or die. How the mind plays with our logic, how the mind has its own terrors. I think I have read this poem at least five times. I was also in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, so no-wifi, no distractions, this book had my full attention.

When I pick up a poetry book to read I want to feel the story, hear how the words sound next to each other. It’s a love affair for me. There are so many folded pages here, it’s going to be read over and over again. The most beautiful part of poetry is reading it over again. When a poet achieves that for a reader, there is no better accomplishment.

His style of writing is graceful and gut-wrenching at the same time. Reminiscent of Raymond Carver and Modern poets of our time.

I highly recommend you buy this book. Nicholas Trandahl also illustrated the cover. Quite a talented American poet and painter. Looking forward to his new collection.

Check out his website. http://www.nicholastrandahl.com

Twitter: @AuthorTrandahl

Check out his Amazon page and short story collections.http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anicholas+trandahl&keywords=nicholas+trandahl&ie=UTF8&qid=1456412936CcDsRuaXEAAYsL2

Thank you for reading and comments are welcome.