Book Review -Poet King by Jaffa Truex


Poet King

Jaffa Truex

3 Stars

My Gentle Readers, while I write a bit of poetry this is my first review of a poetry book. Given it is a short work, there isn’t a lot  to say. Jaffa reaches deep down inside himself to bring to life personal truths that perhaps we can all relate to at some point in our lives. I did enjoy the poem “I am dead!!” specifically when he talks about the obsession of Facebook life. So many people craft this online persona that is so far from reality it is saddening.

This line from “The Murder Factory” is especially meaningful for anyone who has fought depression. “Every day is a new car accident that I am in everyone slows down and watches but nobody helps me.”

Blitz is the perfect note to end the collection on in my opinion.

Some of the poems may mean something to the poet, but I could find no meaning in the collection of seemingly random words. That’s not to degrade his work, simply that several of them did not speak to me on any level, even a sympathetic or empathetic one.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the collection of images, clearly pulled from Internet databases and not personally from the life of the poet, detracted from the overall work. Images for images sake are better left unused. I would have liked to see him use images from his own life, even if they were poorly  drawn sketches (as I have no idea if the author has artistic skills in that area) than pull from the Internet.

Overall I think the work has some merits but perhaps fell flat for me in the execution. Keep writing Jaffa. You definitely have more to say to the world.

Poet King on Amazon

Spell a Day – Feb 14th 2016

Today Gentle Readers is the great celebration of love that is Valentine’s Day. Flower shops and chocolate makers rejoice. Jewelry stores and stuffed animal producers dance a little jig all the way to the bank with the hard earned money of love struck individuals. November sees an increase in births (well, I don’t know about that one for sure but it is still funny). The moral of the spell today is that today isn’t just about romantic love, but also about love of self. Appreciate yourself and, even if you are single, know that you are worthy of love.

For me, today has always had another special meaning. Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She would be 86 today if she had not passed away in 2012. Anyone who has seen previous posts knows that my grandmother meant everything to me. She helped raise my brothers and I. As her years waned I took care of her. Losing her was losing a part of my heart. Most of the time I couldn’t pinpoint my religious beliefs, but I am sure she is looking down on me. I just hope I am making her proud. I have shared poetry inspired by my grandmother before and today will be no exception. This one is a little sadder than the previous ones as today I feel a bit more melancholy.

Just Gone
An emptiness fills my soul
Pain, Blinding, no comfort at all
Seeking something to fill the hole
Left, inside, and my spirits fall
To lose one who was always there
Is a heavy burden to bear

Always supportive, never failing
Constant unchanging, solid standing
How do you go on when they leave
So suddenly you are forced to grieve
Your heart left desperately longing
For one more day, another sunrise to see

They vanish, never to be seen
They vanish, a heart torn all apart
They vanish, pain so deep and keen
They vanish, piercing a battered heart

Where do loved ones go?
When they leave our side
So much still for them to show
Tears flow like a rising tide
My heart, cries out against the truth
Her hand, cold in mine is the proof

 

I hope that you all will take the time today to tell the ones you love how you feel about them. It doesn’t matter if it is romantic love or just platonic. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

On this Day in Literary History – Nov 9th

November 9th was not a terribly full day of literary success, but there was an event that is connected to my life in a small way.

Dylan_Thomas_photo

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)

Dylan Thomas was not a poet I knew much about, except that I read his poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night” in high school English class. I have also seen many of the numerous references to it in popular culture since. In researching Thomas’s life, I found a tragic story of near poverty and alcoholism that led to an early death in smog filled New York.

You can read his poem here, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” This link is hosted by Poets.org, who received permission to post the work.

In looking over more of his work, it is a shame that Thomas was not able to overcome his vices as he could very well have gone on to greater heights. I wonder about the connection between alcoholism and the creative mind. Are creative types more susceptible to addiction of any kind but in particular alcohol? Greats such as Faulkner, Poe and Hemingway all battled with alcohol during their lifetimes. Something to ponder on a rainy day with a blank notebook and a few fingers of good whiskey I think.

Poem – Watching a Flag

Watching a Flag

The breeze blows on a symbol of pride
It’s stripes ripple and roll
The stars display that deep inside
Our hearts can beat as one
Nothing like the flag of our land
On a pole or in a child’s hand
Waving in a parade
Our forefathers sought freedom
But have we lost our way?
We kill each other with abandon
The hate seems here to stay
If only we could learn
Respect is a thing to earn
By giving it in return
Instead our cities burn
Results of a shattered heart
But this is where we have to start
To heal the broken
As it was spoken
By leaders of old
With hearts of gold
The flag still flaps in the breeze
Reminding us lying between the seas
We are a nation of and for all

Poem – Little Bird, Park Bench

Little Bird, Park Bench

Little bird park bench
Enjoying a warm spring day
I bid you Welcome

Glad to see you back
Glad to hear your song
What winter did lack
For spring we all long

Now it’s here to stay
Little bird hopping about
Keep the cold at bay

A song so pure and sweet
Wrapped in the warmer day
To me it is such a treat
Little bird, don’t fly away

Like time you are fleeting
So fill the air with your tweeting
Then off you go to some other place
Where other ears your song can grace

Poem – American Heart (Unfollowed my first blog today)

I have had many many positive experiences discovering blogs since I joined WordPress a year ago. This morning I had to unfollow a blog for the first time. I consider myself very open to criticism, as I know that none of us are perfect. However, a nerve was touched when this person said that American poetry was dead. I did some looking around on their blog and from what I can tell this person has never lived in the United States. I have read many wonderful works of wordsmithery (I am sure that is not a word, but I heard it somewhere and think it is fitting) on other blogs and I think this person just has no clue. You cannot judge the heart and soul of a country’s literary works by the loudest voices. You have to listen for the small still voice that is closest to the heartbeat. I have read and met many wonderful people on here from America and other countries. I hope you will forgive me for this little bit of pride in my country. Anyway, I ended up writing something poetic about it. Enjoy my friends.

American Heart

I read somewhere someone said
That American poetry is dead
No leader or soul to speak of
How dare you judge as if above
The struggles and triumphs of our heart

You who sit in a foreign land
Feeling superior with your pen in hand
Speaking of things you can’t experience
Go on living in your gross ignorance
of the power in an American heart

Each culture has its own outcasts
The voices loudest that always lasts
Loud and proud these voices can be
But some don’t speak for us all you see
For there is beautiful diversity in our heart

So throw your stones from your glass house
And think us mild and meek as a mouse
But when you poke this sleeping bear
Be prepared to face us once we are aware
Of your insults to our American Heart