Books to Read in 2021: Spectrum of Flight by David Hanlon

This review was in the Anthology Fevers of the Mind Presents the Poets of 2020 available on Amazon in Deluxe Edition, Split Editions Vol 1 & 2, and on Kindle.

When opening up David Hanlon’s “Spectrum of Flight” you immediately notice David’s very diverse, quaint, very knowledgable on poetry style and themes. Every word, every sentence, line, and stanzas are thought out.  Every word is read to you by the writer’s voice.  You feel trapped for awhile in the soul of the writer. What he felt, what he has had to persevere through, the depression, the loneliness, the questions, to truly begin to feel a whole self.  You are on a long walk listening to the pouring rain in a cool Autumn month, You can do nothing but think.  This is the book.  All of those cold rain walks on your own, what does the thunder mean for me?  Is this the same thunder heard by others? Is it even raining where they are?  The distancing of others that miscast you. Severs you into their ideal.  Why doesn’t it rain on them?  Why are they exempt? And why can’t they see me?  “A Taste of Showmanship” reflecting toxic masculinity that overcomes, a societal stamp.  To wash away that ink.   The imagery of poems such as “Dream in Which My Teeth Rot and Fall Out” gives you a ride in the circles and to obtain the answers within the spin.  As like in dreams we sometimes find the answer to our being, our true self, the hope to be whole, to change, and conquer the storm. David Hanlon’s “Spectrum of Flight” is brilliant both in style, imagery, and a must read for someone in search of themself.

David Hanlon is a welsh poet living in Cardiff. He is a Best of the Net nominee. You can find his work online in over 40 magazines, including Rust & Moth, Icefloe Press & Mineral Lit Mag. His first chapbook Spectrum of Flight is available for purchase now at Animal Heart Press.

BOOKS to Read in 2021: Mutants by Norb Aikin

Norb Aikin’s poetry has a rhythmic flow to it. You feel Norb is leading you to a crescendo. In Mutants the poetry is all leading up to that ultimate crescendo.  You are absorbed in questions: of existence, of falling apart, of caring, of wandering if one little change could have changed it all.  But this is just the opening verses.  Your emotions are pulled into the song.  This is how the mind flips when the anxieties of the world becomes flippant.  How you become headstrong to arbitrary as the world is described from the intro in “Matador Rose”  How cumbersome every day’s monotonous tasks and rituals become. Reflections, the unsures, the never was’s, the what cans, or can’t even fathoms. Norb’s work truly will make you think.  Mutants is a great collection of poetry that lets you escape your mind or furthers you deeper into the paths of endless clouds to count and dream them up a name.  Poems like “I Melt Sugar” & “I Said Maybe But I Never Said Forever” “Thinking About Suicide Takes Years Off Your Life” hits your brain like a rocket into the dunes of ponderings amassed in loneliness, fear, the wonder years that never really go away, and then we reach the crescendo that is Norb Aikin’s Mutants.

Norb Aikin is the author of Mutants and 100 (Eliezer Tristan Publishing). He is a Mental Health activist originally from Buffalo, NY and now lives in Cortland, NY. His work has appeared in various online publications, including Pink Plastic House and Fevers of the Mind. You can find him on Twitter at @Fivesixer.

This review is also in the Fevers of the Mind Poetry Press Presents the Poets of 2020 Anthology available now on Amazon. Check recent posts for links.

Poem by Norb Aikin “No and No”

Books to Read in 2021: On Becoming(Aesthetic Evolution of the Rising Ancestor) by Hokis

Full title: OnBecoming (Aesthetic Evolution of the Rising Ancestor)

A poetic memoir by Hokis. 

Imagine being a child (a young girl) adopted, unsure about yourself

Because you don’t have all the answers.   Where did my ancestors come from?

Why do I react the way I do?  Where does my perseverance come from to get through? When traumatic adversities come into play as a teenager into womanhood, where do I turn to?

This collection of personal poetry tells the reader through the wonders of imagery on how realizations, finding the reasons, fighting the stresses, and knowing when to persevere & not give in when it is easiest to do so.  

Hokis’ OnBecoming is a wonderful read of linkable poems that connects thematically the traumas (political, familial, toxic masculinity & sexual violence) and turns to feminism & ancestral guidance to help overcome these detours in life.   You will feel shattered with her as you turn through the pages, but in the end you become whole.  Ultimately to feel resilient to the monsters we all face daily.

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