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Storm Toward Morning by Malachi Black

Storm Toward Morning

by Malachi Black

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Echoes of Rilke and Eliot resound in this well crafted debut collection. There is a deal of great sound here, and successful, mind blowing rhyme. I am not very keen on rhyme in free verse, but Malachi Black knows what he's doing in experimenting with and exploding the sonnet or the pantoum with a fresh voice soaked in urgency and desperation. The speaker of the poems is continuous and, like Prufrock, he is consumed by doubt. His doubt a tonal weight pressing against a cord of questions that run throughout the collection regarding the (im)possibility of God and sustainability of our brittle but awesome existence in the face of a chaotic and often painful world.

Take the image of “[…] a yellow gram / of Valium with me in the bright / side of this house behind a darkened high / school baseball diamond [...]” This collection invokes psalms and thick metaphysical questions about the nature of God, but also invokes raw human displays of drug use, vehicular suicide, and mutilation, such as the line about “the stitches in the skin that I slash wishes in.” In Storm Toward Morning, readers are given a collection that in its themes ploughs the depths of uncertainty, and in it form the heights of lyricism. This is the best individual collection of poems I have read in years and I can't wait for his next book. ( )
1 vote poetontheone | Dec 8, 2014 |
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