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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Book Review of “Bones in the Garden” by McKayla Debonis

Book Review of “Bones in the Garden”

by McKayla Debonis

 

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

This poetry book is adorable, even though it is about heartache, McKayla Debonis has written a book that takes place during a painful breakup, it also illustrates a resourceful and strong-willed woman. I am so excited to get a signed copy by the author for my collection. I cherish poetry books, and especially signed copies! I know how much time and energy a poet spends in creating a book and it is an extension of our own soul.
“Bones in the Garden” is a small, compact book that is more of a chapbook, than a full-length poetry book. It consists of seventy-nine pages with poems that are a couple of lines per page, the longer pieces consisting of half a page.
The poetic form of this poetry book influences the reader as does the poem, namely, the micro-poetry collection inside of this book, so hence poems have their own effect quite apart from the content. For instance, a sonnet, speaks with precise logic, but here in this poetry book, the form is free verse and open-ended. The messages of these poems reinforces the thought of the poem, which is basically a broken heart and spirit.
The poems are easily understood. The word “bones” is a central theme throughout the book, italicized for emphasis, but at times that may seem overly stated.
The poem
“Bones ii
Deep in my bones I know that I
will never be the same again”

In essence, Debonis is telling us how every relationship changes us and after a hurtful and emotionally abusive one, we will never be the same. I feel that these simple statements are more sentences than poems. She has written a poetry book full of lovely quotes that can lift one’s spirit and broken heart.

I have included some photos of my favourite pieces. My favourite poem is “Barren Wasteland.”

 

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The illustrations by Rachel Aquino add a special quality to the book. This is a cute book to have in any collection.

McKayla Debonis can be found on the social media sites below.

She has a beautiful website at http://www.mckayladebonis.com
Her book can be purchased at all on-line bookstores.
Twitter: @mckayladebonis
Goodreads : McKayla Debonis
Instagram: @mckayladebonis
Her email: mckayladebonis@gmail.com

 

 

Book review of “whisky words & a shovel III” by r.h. Sin

“whiskey words & a shovel III” is a modern poetry book that redefines poetry in the modern era

   Book Review by Christina Strigas

5 out of 5 stars

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I know that being a poet in the modern world is never easy. Everyone judges you. Your husband, your wife, your lover, your friends, your neighbours. It’s not easy to pour your heart out on paper, on the internet or in a book. Poetry books are sacred to me, I get to carry them around, fold their pages and read them over and over again. r.h Sin is a modern pop poet. He is making poetry popular again, with his Instagram account and his simple, brilliant way of writing from his heart and sleeve. There is nothing wrong with that. Most may criticize this, but I can easily read Dorothea Lasky in one sitting and r.h. Sin. Poetry in another and enjoy both books for different reasons. Reading great poetry is an experience, an individual experience that varies from person to person according to their own life and knowledge. I can connect to poetry and its various forms and techniques, as an English lit Major and as a woman. These are some excerpts from his book.

 

I have been following r.h. Sin ever since he was with Underwater Mountains and the whole publishing fiasco that I was a part of with 451 Press, another division of that company. Although Sin may have many trolls and haters, he has an abundance of love and support. In essence, he is a poet that carries on and focuses on his art.
The free verse and honesty that is shown in “whiskey words and a shovel III” actually surprised me. To be honest, I was preparing myself to not like it as much as I did. My daughter owns his other two poetry books and I glanced at them and although I never read them and never gave them a chance, I jumped to the conclusion that “it wasn’t really poetry.” And who am I to say that? I am trying my best to keep poetry together. Sometimes I write to express, other times to spurt forth words that choke me. It seems to me, that we need to evolve in our perception and high brow attitude of poetry. This is a best-seller. This book has sold so many poetry books that, damn, you ask yourself, who is reading poetry? Well, it appears to me that r.h. Sin has a gift and the masses are reading his uplifting words. His gift and brilliance lies in his simple expressive way of telling us a story from his own personal experience.

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If you are a woman, who has been taken advantage of, ignored, rejected, abused, not loved the way you deserve… it is easy to see yourself on these pages. Most women have fallen prey to men that can’t love them back and vice versa. Sin sees the strength in women and expresses it with beauty. The fact that the poet is a male, makes the words he writes about women even more poignant. His point of view gives us another perception as well, of a man, who wasn’t loved the way he deserved; how women too, can take advantage of love and not give back any intimacy or love in return. That is what I adore about this book…the fact that we get both perspectives of not receiving the love we need.
I also adore the size of this book, and its compact nature. The paper feels almost like newsprint and the typeface is typewriter font, giving you the feel that it is typed. It has an old feel to it in a modern way.
In the poem, “strange love” Sin writes, “ I hope you find someone who falls in love with the strange that lives within you.”
I read this many times, grasping that we are all in some way strange and we all hope to meet a person that can love that part of us. In essence, this is a fear for most people and we try to hide the weirdness in us, up until we can’t anymore. In that simple phrase, so many emotions run through your mind of being accepted for who you are and realizing that most people just didn’t accept that part of you that you so desperately want them to.
I have read this book twice so far and I know for a fact that I will read it again. This is what a great poetry book should do, make you want to go back for more. I suppose it could be during this particular time in my life, I am feeling more vulnerable and this perhaps made me connect to the words and emotions in this book; however, I felt as a woman, he hit the nail on the head with the misunderstanding of love and lust.
I think that the way he writes is pure and from the heart, and even if you have heard some of these quotes or expressions before, reading them again only hammers home the fact that life is short and don’t stay in a relationship that harms you, but try to move on, no matter how hard, and find a true love. It may be a bit idealistic, but that is what poets do, create a world for the reader. r.h. Sin has a unique poetic voice in the natural way he writes and creates a world for us women, that feels safe and loving.
In “a New York summer” Sin writes a longer piece which portrays a man understanding that he has to walk away from a harmful relationship, and by harm, I am implying not being loved back in return. This is how we harm ourselves, by staying in a relationship that cannot give you what you are giving back.
I have chosen some of my favourite pieces in this book to share with you, but there are too many so I will leave you with a few above.
This poetry book fully explores relationships and how they can turn beautiful and loving with the right partner or the complete opposite with the wrong one. So in the words of r.h. Sin,
consilium I.
the love you deserve
can’t be found
while holding on to someone
who doesn’t deserve you”

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Social media links:
View profile at Medium.com
Twitter: @byRHSin
Instagram: @r.h.sin
https://www.instagram.com/r.h.sin/?hl=en
To buy his book:

Never forget that literature is an art expressed in words.

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments please leave them below.

Live my life

I want to be me but you keep on repeating

how my world is not yours. I want to be  you

but you keep on explaining how hard

that could be, what with my wings

and my brains in the sky.

I want to be someone else

just for a day

these blues in me

keep singing.

I bust out once in awhile

and go to the hotel

and stare at the window

and wonder what happened to us.

It’s three o’clock in the morning

and you’re actually sleeping

through my existential crisis.

Again? yes, again and again

I knew you could never handle me.

Why do people who say

“I love you” want you to change

in ways that are not in your nature?

I say “I love you” and can define why.

I love the flaws and imperfections.

I see the world in an absurd way

in a theatre with the playwrights

who made it so. Ionesco weeps

with me too. We all discuss the marvels

of how hating someone

is still loving someone.

I don’t know how you came

to use sex and art as your bullets.

I caught them in my mouth and with my pen

and looked at you to see the love in your eyes

but it wasn’t there.

I still love you though.

I know I don’t deserve it.

I’m wicked now.

A human weeping willow tree,

churning poems for no money.

If only we could be rich

off of words.

If only you cared for me

more than what you claim.

Loving me is difficult I know.

I thought you would smash all the pictures

along my wall

but you only added your photo there

and now I stare at emptiness.

I embrace cupid

and this horrible frightening love.

 

from Love & Vodka

it’s not the way

you leave

it’s the way

you come back

it’s how you

remember

when i forget.

it’s how you are

 

 

from my poetry book Love & Vodka, available on-line or through me you could get signed copies, visit my Twitter page or Instagram page to message me and let me know if you are interested.

Also, if you are on Goodreads, doing a giveaway this week.

If you already read my book, please leave me a review and let me know you did so. typed poems and hand made bookmarks by moi, delivered to you. Stayed up last night and made each one with my quotes.

Much love & gratitude.

 

Thank you all for your amazing support.

Book Reiew of “Deciduous” by Higherhawk

Higherhawk has written a poetry book divided into three sections. Love, Grief and Life. Each part reveals a depth to his poems and emotions. There are mostly short poems full of longing and love. Each poem has a title so it is easy to refer back to the poems. “Open Sea” is one that stood out for me, “There is a stillness that falters out in the open sea. Something beyond the calm pulling at my soul, or is that your echo calling me home.”

The pull of the sea and love is compared in a wise analogy. In the poem, “The Veil,” the poet reveals a deep connection with a woman who has touched the poet’s soul with her love.

The illustrations by Lee Zimmerman are a wonderful accompaniment to this lovely poetry book. Some poems have illustrations to reflect the words, such as, “Slips Further: Pen and Ink”


Higherhawk writes romantically and reflects on nature often. He writes about desire and loving a woman as if it were an art. He describes it in detail in the poem, “Clay” where we see how much he adores and cherishes the woman or muse he describes.


Love is comforting in this book; to be loved and to love in return, like the greatest love story, two lovers in a tunnel of love in the middle of the forest or in each other’s arms. The forest is a constant theme within the book, running, walking or being alone among the trees. Equally, the sun and sunlight are also quite prominent in Higherhawk’s poems.

Deciduous’s second part of the book is Grief, and this section depicts the loss of a loved one in extraordinary detail and the heartbreak one carries around.

There are many great poems in this book that touch your heart. The fact that I got a signed copy makes this book extra special to me. I highly recommend this poetry book as a beautiful addition to your collection.
Check out Higherhawk’s Social Media sites below:

https://m.facebook.com/higherhawkpoet/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16620240.Higherhawk

Twitter: @higherhawk

Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRDKFW5

Book Review of “Abandoned Breaths Poetry, Quotes, and Poetic Prose” by Alfa

Alfa’s first book of poetry is a treasure. A collection of poems, quotes and prose that are filled with maturity and experience. This is what makes Alfa’s poems so relatable, the fact that her words are full of knowledge and experience. A wise poet passing on advice on how to fall in and out of love. Her writing is natural and effortless.
Alfa need only go by one name, like Madonna, because she has superpowers in her diction. Alfa describes love, heartbreak, sorrow, loss and healing all in one poem. This is her gift; how she can combine all these emotions and feelings in one quote or line. There is a plethora of quotes in “Abandoned Breaths” that are perhaps familiar if you follow her on social media. This familiarity in Alfa’s writing is what makes her work so authentic. Her soul, her poetry, her quotes, are essentially her “superpowers” which she portrays with a tactful grace.

“Never make the mistake

of thinking a quiet soul

is an empty one.”

This quote is a popular one of hers that we can find on her social media pages. Evdience of this is how her words are tattooed on people’s skin.

I especially like the longer pieces that are full of soul-searching. Every page is a storm full of words. Let her rain soak you.

I had the pleasure of also editing this book and being part of the production, but last week I sat with it and read it as a reader. I held on to it for a few days and read some passages over and over. I never close the door to poems. I feel that Alfa’s book is one that I will read to help me in times of need. No fluff here.

“Abandoned Breaths” is an honest and inspiring book that can reach out to millions over any type of sorrow or loss they may experience.
Alfa has a universal way of touching your soul through her simple and direct words that make a lasting impression. I would highly recommend this debut poetry book. It is a gem. Check our her blog and other sites below for yourself.
Social Media:

http://www.alfapoet.com

http://www.facebook.com/alfawrites

http://www.instagram.com/alfa.poet

Twitter:@alfa_poet
Her book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/099805030X/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=