A Review of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan (review by Ivor Daniel)

Review of Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan. Ivor Daniel

A poem is a bridge built of words and hope.

Before the Bridges Fell takes us to many poems, many bridges. We cross from nightmare to
 light and sometimes back. To a mindscape where a bridge is a crossing, and simultaneously
something to suicide jump off. Bridges across to the murky hopeful past of literature and
 lived experience. And to the tawdry here and now.

In these dubious times of ours we read to escape, but not always into beauty. The
 characters in these poems navigate scripts not fully written, open to doubt and danger. The
 improvisation of their daily lives is hitchhike-ride scary. And these poems nail the truth that
without that risk, we would not journey, would not create.

O’Nan has ‘seen the ruin’, and has kept on living, kept on writing. The poet has witnessed
 humanity ‘Driving erratically and uncaring of a permanent damage’, on

‘freeways full of a new rage blinding -
From metastatic stars on American car plates….
An embolism on a prairie field’.

And further on up the highway, in another poem,

‘you can feel a little rot. When the curves of the road are at your throat’.

O’Nan has seen the banal and the ugly side, and captured it like Hunter S Thompson and
Ralph Steadman captured it, and thankfully for us he has kept on going until we can…

‘Watch the cities become countryside.
And watch humanity float
Off these infertile grounds’.

In these poems there are precious moments when, as in our lives today, we are brought up
short marvelling at moments of beauty (conventional or otherwise) amongst the horror and
the drab;

‘We were cut from the Jerusalem sun.
The pile of rags in the oils of the sand’.

And there are glimpses of nature shining through;

‘The birds digest our mayhem
to the streets’.

And sometimes, there is peace and contemplation…

‘Let me sit another night and feel my completion through a pond full of stars’.

But overall it is the unresolved angst of Americana, of humanity, that bubbles up through the
 sand in these poems, where …

‘lives are just scars
to look at in our corners of a heaven.
We continued gunning down true leaders.
We took the beauty from our land’.

O’Nan is prolific and well-read, and up front about his influences. He has one of his
 characters

‘hunting Bukowskis down with bottle cap bitten
teeth’.

In his Acknowledgements O’Nan describes himself as ‘an editor for humans all over the
 world’ and goes on to say that ‘the worldwide writing and reading community is the always
fascinating...beating heart of the world’. This community is indebted to David L O’Nan for
 these pertinent and powerful contemporary poems. And for all the energy he puts into
boosting other poets, and helping that ‘beating heart’ beat.

All the poems in Before the Bridges Fell

‘weave in the beauty and the
broken’.

This is where we live, between the beauty and the broken. As we navigate the storms and
fevers of the mind, the need to live between the dreams, ‘to brush the teeth, comb the hair’.
To see our deal with society through. This book will help us do that.

A poem is a bridge built of words and hope. 

 Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog. 

The return & revised version of “New Disease Streets” by David L O’Nan Poetry and stories 

Poetry from David L O’Nan in the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers

 Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren 

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!


Reviewer bio: Ivor Daniel lives in Gloucestershire, UK. His poems have appeared in A Spray of Hope, wildfire words, Steel Jackdaw, Writeresque, iamb~wave seven, Fevers of the Mind, The Trawler, Roi Fainéant, Ice Floe Press and The Dawntreader. He has poems forthcoming in After..., Re-Side, Alien Buddha, The Orchard Lea Anthology (Cancer) and The Crump’s Barn Anthology (Halloween). . @IvorDaniel  































By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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