Pudding House Publications, 2005 - $8.95
There’s a fine line between free verse, poetic prose and just plain prose, and this collection ricochets from one to the other indiscriminately, making it difficult to assess. Some of the pieces, ‘The Embarrassment’, ‘Sadness Popsicle’, ‘Sadness Creature’, and ‘Sadness is the Boss of Her’ are definitely plain prose and might even gain by being set as such. Others are without doubt poems, poems which strike to the heart of things, for example ‘Tetris’, which I quote here in its entirety:
“I want to be solid with no cracks,”
she hears them whisper.
But as soon as she creates a line
instead of sleeping,
she follows the shapes with her eyes.
There is throughout an undercurrent of disconnection, of standing apart observing a weird world. Is Mona the poet’s alter ego, a fictional character or a friend portrayed with empathy and humour? The lack of resolution to this question is an essential element of the collection. Read it—there are many things which will resonate with you, whoever you are.
The Common Reader says of Because Mona is in the Psychiatric Hospital:
Most of the poems in this collection were too honest to be enjoyed but that’s why I liked them. With titles like ‘Sadness Popsicle’, ‘Someone Who is Sad’, ‘Sadness Creature’ and ‘The Architecture of Depression’ I didn’t expect to like the pamphlet much but I was quite wrong.
As I read ‘The Architecture of Depression’ I felt as if I had some understanding of how this woman felt:
Certain collections of buildings,
certain roads, depress her further:
they literally depress her,
they push her down.
She is like a shallow valley after them,
she is the opposite of a mole in the skin.
She is concave.
I also liked the cover because it seemed to me that somewhere under the tangled and twisted mess of black lines and what looked like tree branches, there was someone trapped ●