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=

5 tips for Editing Poetry Books

I have recently edited a few poetry books for fellow poets. I find that most poets, find it hard to edit their own poems and a second opinion is sometimes necessary to get out of their own head. I must admit that I never hired a poetry editor for my three poetry books, but I had a particular vision and look that I knew I wanted for my poems.

If you are looking for a poetry editor or you are editing your poems yourself here are 5 tips that worked for me and how I go about editing poetry books.

  1. After every draft, you should put your manuscript away for over two weeks and clear your mind. As many times as you go through your manuscript, is as many times you must put it aside. This ensures that you start fresh every time and believe me, every time you read it, you will find something that you need to correct or revise. Do this up until there is nothing left to rewrite. Do not settle until you feel your book is done. Eventually, you will know.
  2. You can divide your poetry book into sections or parts with titles so that it flows for the reader. Also, a table of contents with the list of poems at the beginning of the book is always helpful to quickly find a poem. Lately, some poets are not using any titles or table of contents…if you choose to do so, make sure that you divide your book into sections such as loss, healing, love, death, etc. so that there is some kind of order. There are not many rules in poetry and anything may go for certain poets, but in my experience, the books that have no titles or breaks are hard to read and difficult to distinguish one poem from the next.
  3. Every poetry book needs a Copyright page, a Dedication page, Acknowledgements page, at the beginning of the book and an About the Author Page at the end of the book. Number your pages. Look at the poetry books in your library and see how the professionals do it.
  4. Format, font and presentation are an integral part of a poetry book. Pay an expert to create your file in pdf with the appropriate poetic fonts and alignments. Equally, cover art and a blurb brings the book together as a whole.
  5. Make sure the poetry editor you hire has experience, knowledge and a grasp of poetic terms.

Good luck in the editing process, this is the hardest part of writing. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, ” The first draft of everything is shit.”

 

 

 

 

Ageless

I know that age matters not

right now, but then it did.

It mattered when we raced against

the wind. I was just a babe in your arms.

You were a man even as a teenager.

You had this way of bringing me love

on a tray, and spoiling me until

I was full on your love. I had it

all, for a brief time. I showed you

my cuts and bruises

and you kissed them. Your lips

on my shoulders within seconds.

My hands unbuckling your belt

in such a frantic youthful way

in an ageless time

between this world and the next.

Let’s remember where we were

and lament the age of us.

It matters that you see past

the girl. We felt invincible

and will never know that freedom

again, that youthful love we held

onto so naurally.

In the Middle

Once I was at the end of the love song

crying for years because it was over

before it even began. We were caught

loving the wrong person. I immersed

from my drowning and swam to the

beginning of the line. I sailed across

your poems and floated on your words.

You sent them to me by mail, on out-

dated postcards, you wrote them on

the back of my hand with your

fingertips. I sent you magic and

illusions with one needle on your

arm. We lived in a movie and

recited Shakespeare naked in bed.

You were not even close to being

who I thought you were. I was

too much for you to handle back

then, wanting to do everything

and doing absolutely nothing

about it. I climbed Mont-Royal

in heels and you laughed at

my absurdities. I was spontaneous

and explosive, until I wasn’t anymore.

I bent backwards on words

and the power of your hands.

Now I’m in the middle of something

that will change me forever.

I will never bet that girl again.

I have to be someone I thought

I would never be. Life throws you

these wicked curveballs

and I am catching them,

ready to be stuck here

hoping that it will not get

worse. All this hope

for songwriters and poets

but for a regular woman like me

it’s a waste of my time.

Forget

It does not matter who forgets who

or who lives in the past.  The moment

is all we have, switching gears to

satisfy our needs. I left my heart in

the parking lot, it happened so quickly

did not even know I was going to quit you.

I meant for us to last like that movie

twenty years of longing and never having.

I meant for us to be together in my head

not in real life. It can never be, so why

risk my sanity? I spent so many days

in the hospital, I know one day I will

ask for help. I hope you answer my call.

I hope when you see my name on your

phone, you won’t get scared of the truth.

I have these knots in my stomach

my heart, sometimes I can’t even orgasm

because I’m blocked, stuffed up on life

bleeding sinus pills. I wipe your scent

off of me, when all I want to do is inhale it.

You want someone else

I can never be her

I have known no one but you

and this is what heartache tastes like

at nine fifteen in the morning,

I have to run

to another life

but one last hug

you forgot my present again

and I am coming to believe

I am the only one who gives

again and again.

This is what I am made of

a lifetime of silence

spurting forth words

for you to read.

Book Review of “Only You” by David Wesley Anderson

     Only You is a poetry book that feels as if there is no beginning or end; one poem flows into another. David Wesley Anderson writes without titles or punctuation. He laments and describes a fiery love affair.
The theme conveyed in this book is one of feeling of feeling at peace, spiritually, emotionally and sexually in unison with one’s partner. The poet describes orgasms and sexual pleasure with details and by explicit memory. At times, the poems feel choppy without the punctuation, but the desire and the passion illustrated between the lovers is undeniable.O
It feels as if I you are reading a love affair come alive.
In this passage, we can see how Anderson portrays the need of wanting someone, but also the resistance entailed.
“I know the way

to your door

but you keep

changing the fabric

of the lock”
There are some brilliant lines among these poems, but the fact that the poems have no endings and they continue from one page to another makes it for a harder read due to the fact that you don’t know where to pause or take a break.
There are numerous passages that illustrate how erotic Anderson’s poetry can get as well as evoking sexual prowess.
The middle section of the book is an erotic tale, filled with sex scenes, fantasy and magic connections. It is how lovers explore each other’s bodies in a sexual, longing manner; being a fantasy lover in a primal sexual instinct,
“That pervasive need

to be wanted

beneath you

and that unrelenting

tide rocking me

into an escape

where colours shift

and eyes glide.”
Lust takes over the remaining end of the book, as Anderson depicts two naked bodies glistening with want and desire. He describes a deep, spiritual and sexual connection. The lovers tell each other they will explore their bodies and give pleasure. Red is a constant color that runs as a theme throughout the poetry book, red lips, etc.
“Let us run babe

and trip into the

eyes of our sun

where we mix

and melt in flames

sparkling red we

dare to fall further

into each other now

sometimes i long to

be spread out by you

to be torn inch by red

inch through fingers.”
The poems in Only You are centred in the middle of the page and some of the poems have the illusion of a naked woman’s torso and hips. It is visually beautiful to see how the words transform into a body and pleasant to read in this creative manner of writing.
It feels as if I am reading an epic love poem. The book ends on this sexual high that only lovers feel.
Only You is unique in its layout and reads quickly and easily. If you want to check out David Wesley Anderson’s Social media links and purchase his book please click below.
David (D. Wesley A.) is a self proclaimed micro poet finding rhyme and reason within 140 characters. His themes revolve around love and their impact on the intimacy of both the individual and couple. He has published three chapbooks and two full length books of micro poetry. He is currently working on a third book to be released soon. He lives currently in New York City.
dwesleya.com

https://www.facebook.com/dwesleya/

https://www.instagram.com/dwesleyanderson/
https://www.amazon.ca/Only-You-David-Wesley-Anderson/dp/1541297091/ref=sr_1_1?tag=geolinkerca-20&s=books

Reasons

Some people love you

for all the right reasons

but you still go searching

for the wrong ones. The ones

that keep you up or

make you want to smoke up

all day. I never hide behind

a persona or a brand,

I am what I am

sometimes ditzy

sometimes brilliant

but always me. I woke up

in a Woody Allen movie

you can guess the title

but you know it’s dysfunctional

and petty yet narcissistic. I

liked talking to you

because you never interrupt

and this is such a quality

that I adore. I don’t have

scorn, I just love you

so I put up these walls

to protect myself

from how much I care.

I will never tell you,

of course, or maybe

if I’m drunk and Purple

Rain’s solo is on and you

turn to me and with your

eyes you tell me

how you never meant

to cause me any sorrow.

I know. I am smarter

than you think. I carry

you like e.e cummings poem

nowadays it’s modern:

in my phone, in my pocket,

but in another era

it was in my heart

and you,

you are invisible to everyone

but me. You are like

a magician

popping into my life

like the pills

I swallow.

I loved you and lost

you like

a true poet

and you can’t get

any closer to

art than a few hours

alone in a locked room.

Favim.com-florian-nicolle-art-beautiful-soul-emotion-573684

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