Sid & Mary (Opal)
A Journey into the wasteland
Soapbox Monkey Press, 2019
Straight out of the gate this book grabs your attention with an ominous overshadow referencing the book of Revelations: Revelation 6:2-8: Through umbilical breath
she rode the pale horse
delivered into the wasteland
& death followed
like a shadow
Okay, so what did I just read in its entirety? • Darkness of being: Trapped in a cage/made of marrow/a cemetery of
souls. . .
(“Forgotten to smile”) • Experience: The only thing/I learned in church/was the definition/of
(“Concrete and Steel”) • Existence: I lit a match/in the darkness/to illuminate/the way/[. .
.]/even the exquisite/pain as the match/burnt down/[. . .]/could not wash my
(“Striking Sulfur”) • Recovery: I only go there for the donuts/the chairs are hard and
cold/[. . .]/the violinist on my left/a first chair of sadness
(“Musical Chairs”) • Survival: Just enough money/to buy a pack of smokes/[. . .]/& some
new clothes/from the goodwill
(“An american slumdog millionaire”). • Love : Her lips/ Were like an apple/ in the garden of Eden
lips”) • Death: You died/two days/before your birthday/[. . .]
in my lungs")
This book is all of that and more, e.g. - self-harm, addiction, etc. It is one of those books that drags you in on a personal level. We’ve all experienced ( or will ) our dark soul of the night. If you can’t relate to that, then you’ll relate to feeling lost. Or abuse of some sorts. Or, unrequited love. Or surviving a circumstance or situation when you’re down on your luck and there’s nowhere else to go but up. For me, this was one of those books.
At only 52 pages, the title speaks the truth: outlining a young couple living a life of sex, drugs, and rock & roll in the wasteland, and is dedicated to “All those souls whose voice is never heard.” I was immediately transported back to the era of “Make Love Not War” when hippies were considered dirty, lazy, and voiceless – falling through the cracks of society.
Though I feel as though some pieces are missing ( and perhaps it is best they are ), it is very well-written poetry and will not disappoint you. 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