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.
Link to purchase Stupid Flowers: http://www.lulu.com/shop/brice-maiurro/stupid-flowers/paperback/product-23194066.html

Published by Punch Drunk Press Ltd.IMG_0800

Instagram: @maiurro

Twitter: @IAmBricesTweets

 

IMG_3872

IMG_1967IMG_3616

 

 

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

Discussion

I don’t fall into categories

I prefer to create them

make them shine on my skin

so only lovers with no thoughts

can see them. Leave chat groups

that are toxic for the soul and

create an affair with words

you adore. I discussed poetry

and words and how I have always

been writing, only now it has

controlled me, I can’t contain

it in a beer barrel anymore and

put a lock on it for happy hour.

I can’t shut it off and go to sleep.

I wake up with it and walk around

with these words on the tip

of my fingers and my tongue.

Here they are discussing the

way we move in and out of bed,

the way we talk, with respect

and patience. The way you ask

questions and wait for a reply.

No one ever cared for the same

reasons. Discussions of the soul

with no words are the ones

I cherish. The way we communicate

without words

that first brought us together

and will eventually tear us apart.

I can see the story, I can write

it, I can direct it, I can begin

and end it. I know how to

do it all

for I am a dreamer

and so are you.

Featured Image -- 6065

 

 

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

 

 

Goodreads

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

 

Hello everyone,

If you’ve read any of my books, I would appreciate a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Click on the link above to see what I’m reading and my reviews.  I have tried for the past few days to add the Goodreads widget to my blog, but I feel so lost in cyberspace, not even youtube tutorials help, so I suppose it’s not meant to be. However, I feel that Goodreads is such a useful social media site for writers and readers to share their works and opinions on books.

I am always honest in my reviews and don’t believe in fake praise.

I have received some invitations to review some poetry books from authors I know, and I am going to be posting some of them up on my blog soon.  If anyone is interested I will consider reviewing some poetry books if you want to email me at christinastrigasauthor@gmail.com

To review novels, you can email me and we can discuss.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

All my best,

Chrissy

 

New chapbook

Hey lovely souls of WordPress & bloggers,

 

I am so excited to announce that I have put together a chapbook and it will soon be released by a publishing company run by my poet friend Chris. I will slowly reveal the details as soon as I can. Just know, that my book is going to be one of the first released under this company and it brings me great joy to share with you some new poems that I practically wrote in forty-eight hours straight. Hardly ate, hardly slept. Wrote the words like waterfalls.

I am on the first draft right now, and I will be editing and working hard to create a chapbook for my readers. I dedicate this chapbook to all of you who read me and support me.

 

I want to thank you for reading and commenting on my work. Without you guys none of this would be possible. My passion is writing, and I have written books and I am still working on a novel…however poetry is closer to my heart than anything else. It is that instant downpour of emotions that comes out. Sometimes it’s not personal at all, it could be the news, a conversation I overheard, a dialogue, a word, all these inspire me and help me to write better.

 

Thank you for being here with me.

All my best,

 

Chrissy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

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

Renaissance

If I ever had writer’s block you would see me dead

at some corner in a bar with your typical

bottle of Jack and burnt notebooks. I swear

if  I lost the ability to think through poetry

and write about my ripped up demons,

my past haunts, my future encounters,

then I would be dead inside for sure.

I can barely breathe now with how

real life sucks up my soul in conference

meetings, evaluation of employees,

frustrated children, parents who

neglect, my faults piling up

as I see how awful I could be

when confronted with life,

car crashes, headaches, aging,

poems pouring out like coffee

from a pot.

I took a class at Concordia

called The Renaissance

the History professor

proved that all these statues

had a story, all these white perfect

Roman gods had the same life

as the Greeks, changed a name

deleted a column, added an arc

and revived humanity.

If only I could do the same with poetry

make it my battle

rebirth

to the art that few protect.

Grab your pen

paper

raw words

and create

a new renaissance.

What else is there to do

except your nails? or your hair?

or your membership at the gym

needs renewal,

don’t forget to post pictures

of you and hubby at so-so restaurant

yes, I’ll be over here,

writing poems

and showing you my heartache.

You never knew I could write.

I know.

You thought I was just another wife,

but you saw it in my eyes.

You told me that once

I remember everything.

 

The Arch of 2016

 

It wasn’t up until the year ended that I thought of all the things I replaced you with. It was how the sun sets from my balcony

how the sun sets when I drive

It was how the day never ends early enough. How the night is so long that even sleep does not help.

I have been writing before you existed and when I do not reply to the calls,  I have stopped the sucking of my soul.

I hear the crying, but lock myself in rooms and escape. Make fun of me,

joke about my art

watch me drive on black ice

never  buy my book

you were the first

and the last

typical cliche

horrible poetry being written

on the other side

and sometimes I compromise

other times I stand tall.

Why didn’t you kiss him hello? I’m moody.

That’s not an answer.

My daughter tries to get me

but she questions my motives

I have no reply sometimes.

I don’t conform sweetie, that’s all.

She breaks the rules

and here I am

trying to guide her

in this mess.

No answers to the arch of 2016

but do not want to see death

this year

want to bury the past

and conjure it up

in fragments

in poems.

Never challenge me

I break down

too easily.

Change my mind

like the Montreal weather.

You deplete me

with your absence.

No more fight in me.

Focus on my books

and bury the year under the rubble

of regret.

People on the other side

of the screen

mostly want

to bring you to your knees

and point fingers

at your weakness.

it’s toxic in here

in my head,

in my world

but it’s a new year

and I must charge up

my battery

or I’ll be drained by

the scavengers

that hunt for the art they can’t make.