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SatansSperm
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 19th Nov 2015
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It was not my intention to let the cancer out of the bag but since it is I am grateful to those that wish to help out even those who can only afford kind words or positive vibes...it is much appreciated I plan on writing about it when the better days let me maybe call it The Black spot diaries ...love to all Terry [ SatansSperm ]

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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SatansSperm said:It was not my intention to let the cancer out of the bag but since it is I am grateful to those that wish to help out even those who can only afford kind words or positive vibes...it is much appreciated I plan on writing about it when the better days let me maybe call it The Black spot diaries ...love to all Terry [ SatansSperm ]

I'll look forward to reading it, Terry. Just ordered the other two books, and donated a small amount. Hopefully I can add more in the future. You're both in our belief for complete recovery.

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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anaerobic inhale
grin
Lulu Press
ISBN: 9781291850802

In grin’s debut chapbook, anaerobic inhale, the reader first experiences her voice first as that of an observer—of nature—who shares in the emotion of a sentient being as well as a glimpse of her own character trait of compassion coupled with humility:

“i let it go
of course i let it go”

She further documents pain in others: pain in her mother, “you are crawling, standing, staggering (under the window where i always found her” (“mother”), a crazy cousin, “he took the sofa/ slept like a homeless man/ hummed in the morning while he shaved/a smoker’s throat kind of singing’  (“i recall”), and then, her surroundings by revealing pain both in “the prickly cactus [needing] water; the cleaning lady [with] cancer”, followed by the inference of murder:  “i killed a little girl once/ she looked like me/ in her eyes/ she’s not dead yet but I sure killed her” (“The end of”), referencing her own vulnerable soul, the elements it’s been exposed to, e.g. - “cancer/ suicide/ arrhythmia”, which can seem endless, “every-thing/ dies/ not me though, o no/ o no not me/ not i” (“the end of”).

Her pain is haunting—if this is an emotional autobiographical ( which I feel is )—it reminds us of our own ability to shape ourselves into the people we are. She describes the delicate vulnerability of the human frame as “paper thin/ heartless pixels” (“shit”), and reiterates the misery of being bedridden, demonstrating how both memory (which can slay us at an inopportune moment such as illness) contrasts with hope: “things you were/ bed of nails/ butterman bringing all the cows home/ kerrygold silence at the end of the line/ sick, lying/ abed all day and up all night/ sob story/to be continued” (“shit”).

She also touches upon brief relief amid life’s pain and drama, “it feels like the first bite of something good/ over and over” (“the way we wake up”).  Isn’t this at least a grasp at hope and happiness?  Grin extends her observations to the outside world through television by referencing British journalist Jeremy Kyle “making drunk men cry” and “giving barbie dolls to burn victims” (“trees+ glass+ paper+ betrayal”) while demonstrating the power of the mind to entwine both tangible reality of surroundings with sensationalist broadcasting, “there is outside/ there is inside/ there is no glass in the window/ unless you are touching the window” (“trees+ glass+ paper+ betrayal”). This gives the impression that the latter reality of show is overwhelming to the already overwhelmed senses, thus she offsets with a surreal like quality of daydreaming beyond the window of her room, “trees. One two threefourfive./ fence. Green. / suburban, silent, unsuspecting/ does it embarrass you that you beat your/ girlfriend up?” (“trees+ glass+ paper+ betrayal”).  You suddenly become a part of Grin’s interaction with both the effects of a tabloid talk show coupling with still life, when she poignantly points out that “people are so simple” (“trees+ glass+ paper+ betrayal”), leaving nature the peacemaker, anchor, and sanity in this man-made battle.

The poem “The Warehouse” tells a lot. The poet /narrator begins “birdshit, birdshit/ birds shit/ the shoe of a prostitute/ raped and burned alive” as she computes input only to realize “the other whore left no trace”.  Being a photographer commissioned to shoot abandoned buildings, cotton mills, and warehouses,  I’m reading a bit of myself into the book, for Grin employs the language of acceptance with ease and non judgment.  Despite the obvious disrepair and dubious aura, she finds “of the winter needles/ i like it here”.  
Being I always felt at home within the energy of abandonment, I could completely relate.

Grin’s poems describe moreso than confess.  Set in various situations and less than pleasant circumstances which demonstrate just how small the world is, her final poem “sunglasses for us all, please” demonstrates a remarkable observance followed by sage advice that only someone who has lived, suffered, and survived could council:
[. . .]
“deceive the world? He world knows all
play jester, feste, joker, fool, but not Macbeth
while lightening plays its games with you
find cold pine-fresh comfort in tragedies
mopped off the linoleum
drearily, wearily,
with the last paper towel.”

Grin shapes her poems to indicate what she knows: pain, acceptance, and survival are all her past, present, and future served up in verse sprinkled with wise observation born from experience. Anaerobic inhale is a thin volume, but much worth the read. Her poems make me reflect deeply, because she reminds me of both the grace of acceptance and beauty of survival, flaws, scars, and all.

P.S. - Miley Cyrus, who knew?

poet
Sky_dancer
The Cosmic Dragon
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 10th Dec 2018
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That was an extraordinarily professional review. One which made me firmly decide to buy a copy of anna grin's book. Thank you.

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Thank you, Sky. I am sure anna will appreciate that.

anna, unfortunately it's double the characters allotted for a review on LuLu. Edit however you wish and I'll be happy to post it. Not sure what parts you would want to go or stay.  Really blows that 700 or so words is deemed too much for a review.

poet
anna_grin
grin
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 24th Mar 2013
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im blown away, your review is more competent than my book writing/making effort. thank you for taking the time to review so thoroughly

if you'd ever told me id be called wise.... i am in shock


poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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You're very welcome, anna.  It was well worth the time.

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HadesRising
Guardian of Shadows
United States
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Joined 8th June 2013
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Brand new chapbook is up on Amazon. Acronyms From Hell. Check it out and I hope you enjoy.

ACRONYMS FROM HELL: FROM HADES RISING (CHAPBOOK Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SVWYB6K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_qbL.CbEMP8RB3

poet
SatInUGal
Kumar
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 31st Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 492

Sending my 1996 self-published book (25 copies, most lost now, I was around 20 years old at the time) to a non-destructive bound book scanning service. Soon, I will have it digitally in all ebook formats :)

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Angel Vomit
Terry Smith
Soapbox Monkey Press, 2019
ISBN: 9781095461143

Firstly, Smith’s second book will whet the soul; I’m uncertain you can read it dispassionately without relating to it personally.   I mean who hasn’t discovered and lost love?  There is such a delightful wonder in young love consisting of physical discovery;  however, I did not interpret this book in such a manner, despite the inference of a new love between two people.  I perceive young love as young in spirit more so than relationship ( not to be confused with love at any age evoking a youthful feeling ).  Angel Vomit projects more of a mature love, something that comes to fruition after a lifetime of seeking by two people, “Their love was apocalyptic/ destroying all the other loves/ they had ever known (“For the Love of Chaos“).  

In just three short lines of the opening poem, Smith has revealed the direction of his book. ‘We are all searching/ for that someone/ [. . .]/ [who] will remove the shackles/ and free us/ from ourselves’ (“Freedom”), we immediately get the feeling that the characters in this book have done exactly that.  This book begins with love poetry that doesn't depend on lust or the silly to solidify it.  Love presents itself in the first part; an idealized love, an observant love . . . “ [. . .]/ if you look into her eyes/ and allow yourself/ to feel her rhythm/ you will see the stars/ as they were/ at the beginning/ and hear the waves/ of ancient oceans” (“Out of the Corner of My Mind...I Saw Her”).  It also reveals the narrator’s feelings as he struggles with expression, “I tried to explain my feelings/ but how do you explain a sunrise/ to a blind man/ or the call of the whip-poor-will/ to someone who’s ears/ refuse to sound/ [. . .] (“How She Moves Me”).  

Secondly, Smith discloses an epically open heart, particularly in the second half of the book, when the paradigm of the relationship unexpectedly shifts,  ‘Your love faded like twilight’s eve/ into darkness/ and passions that once ran wild/ now resemble amber/ [. . .] / their echos/ reveal to us/ that we/ cannot withstand/ the truth” (“Culinaire du Purgatory”).  Smith demonstrates the ability to release love without drama, fights, or the ugliness so associated with breakups.  He doesn’t accuse, demean, nor riddle the past with inferences of blame.

Without You

Once
we cast the same shadow
now the bast
space between us
leaves a lump in my throat
as deep
as the oceans
&
I cannot
swallow
nor
breathe. . .
[. . .]

A veil is written between the narrator’s occurrence, reminiscence, and the longing associated with separation to his inevitable acceptance of fate, “Searching the bottom/ of this whiskey glass/ for answers/ to questions/ I never dare ask/ when I am sober/ but even after the bottle/ is long gone/ I still end up empty/ & continue to drown/ holding that last/ ice cube/ like it was/ the iceberg/ that sank/ the Titanic. (“Whiskey Sins”)  

Smith’s sensual description is as tender as his heartbreak is real. If you're (un)fortunate enough to experience unrequited love ( as most ), this book matches your heart's vibration. Honest, moving, and heartbreaking all at once; bittersweet and almost too rending to read,  Angel Vomit weaves together a relationship that I feel is only half-told.  It mixes love with loss and desire with despair.  While the ending is a solid reflection on solitude that accumulates at the end of a love affair,  it left me wanting more of the narrator's story beyond the culmination of his contemplation in the following poem:

The Grand Buffet

I lye awake
at night
wrestling
with my monsters
while I know
somewhere
she is sleeping

And, somewhere inside of us, from compassion, or perhaps empathy, but definitely experience, we wrestle with a past that periodically raises its head too.  That is exactly why we want to know more of the story. We crave hope and happy endings despite the inevitability of hurt.  We crave this because of what we accept, what we take away from each circumstance and experience that brings us closer to truth.  Angel Vomit allows us to dream beyond painful endings.

For this, and its raw vulnerability, I recommend it.


Footnote:
Terry Smith is currently battling stage three esophageal cancer. The purchase of his books and/or any donation to his gofundme page will greatly assist him with medical expenses.

https://www.gofundme.com/cancer-treatment-and-surgery-costs

poet
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 9th Nov 2015
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I’m still so stunned, my words are going out in the form of prayers to Terry.  I wish it could be more than prayers.  If only

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Prayers contain more worth than most give them credit for, Jade.  

poet
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Ahavati said:Prayers contain more worth than most give them credit for, Jade.  

Oh yes, I know, my Sage.  Sometimes, being so financially  helpless, I wish I could do a little more.  

poet
SatansSperm
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 19th Nov 2015
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no worry's positive vibes are as good as anything...just a thank you for your thoughts

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SatansSperm
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 19th Nov 2015
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And thank you Ahavati  for the nice review....Angel Vomit is more than the title of the book or the poem found within, it is the whole saga from the heights of heaven ( Angel ) to the darkest endings or beautiful lies told (Vomit ) ...that is my explanation of the book.

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