As every indie writer knows, self publishing is a really competitive sphere, tons of books are published worldwide every single day, and places like Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Kobo and alike, are the places to go when you are a newbie in the business. But the struggle just starts once you go through all the mind-breaking editing, tax info, cover, and book formatting protocols, as you dive into the holy review section.
Well, I know how hard it is to get a single review, specially if you are writing poetry, so congrats to all that have made it.
Now, I couldn’t hold the excitement after my book (Love of a Hibiscus) got reviewed, but not just by any poet, but Sir David Russell. Yes, THE David Russell, author of Sensual Rhapsody, Self’s Blossom and many other erotic titles.
The reason I got so excited by the review, you ask? Well, read it for yourself:
– ” I find this to be a work of admirable depth and courage. It opens with a statement of wounds, of pain and distress. Then, in presenting a kaleidoscope of emotion and sensation, it leaves much to the imagination and intuition of the reader, faithfully reflecting the complexities of the author’s traumas. There is the suggestion of the couple having met as children, and “I wanted to know if you were coming back.” The girl is both an object of adoration from afar, and someone with real human traits. The poet knows he is in the grip of an obsession, which is contrary to the dictates of reason. Towards the end of the sequence, he pleads to be ditched, but his partner will not release him.
Their relationship seems dualistic, founded on the equilibrium of contradictions. Even as an idol, she is humanly qualified: he thinks she is a star – ‘surrounded by bigger stars, but none of them with your delicate glow’. She is his supreme catalyst: “you renewed my will/by carrying a sun in your eyes.” She sustains his tenacity, even though this may be in the pursuit of the unattainable: “Why I kept on I don’t know; maybe because I was tired of quitting.” He then makes a touching declaration of faith and optimism, in defiance of rationality: “It’s really ok/to not know things sometimes/because in the end everything will be fine.”
A naked soul suggests that they may have had one physical consummation, which healed the previous wounds – ‘hovering debris of my past/upon a rehabilitated present’ – a precious tryst, which embraced ‘eternity in minutes’.
His obsession, and his despair, assume cosmic proportions; he can get lost in ‘sandless shores, waveless seas’. He sometimes feels ‘stepless’ – deprived of an objective sense of direction; he refers to yelling at the moon ‘. . . for not being able to hold the missing feelings that fill an empty hole’.
His dilemma gives him an elemental struggle to express himself: ‘Taking silences that make one tremble, fusing them with words, heavy nothings carried to shores of empty thoughts by the seas of existence, where nothing can be done.
There is some indication of a struggle for rapprochement, in Hidden spaces: “The closer we got/the more tangled we became”.
Is it all worthwhile? The poet heads one of his sections “A bitter end for the sake of a sweet past.” In Dirt Queen, the stark reality of disillusionment is spelled out: “Your trashed soul, scrapped against the dirt floor . . . Salvation was lost when you fell from the skies. But the power of his love is certainly resilient against that bitter realisation. He can, albeit briefly, admit that he has broken other hearts, and mention that her sublimity was ‘wasted by your own lust’: does this refer to her other partners, or did they destroy their ideals by once sleeping together? With incredible honesty, the poet can say “I hate you – just a step away from love, they say.” The idol does emerge as a flawed human being when he can say that she needs him to be a fool, or insane – ‘these obstacles that seduced my weak heart and destroyed my already decaying mind’. In turn, his memories of his love are ‘like ropes that kept me from sinking into insanity’ – a vital, balancing contradiction. He wishes, in vain, that he could go back and be somebody else; he wishes she could ‘give your inexistence to another’ and ‘let him off the hook’.
At the conclusion there are ‘beautiful scenes finalizing in the sweet tragedy’. No major threads seem missing from the portrayal of this emotional web – a tour de force. ”
Yep. Now that’s a review!