Tetiana Aleksina and Tony Single have swapped poems and compiled them in a little book: One Pulse: Cradle 2 Grave. The poems are surreal and dark. If you aren't sure what the tone of the poems is, the illustrations throughout will tip you off. Scattered through the book are simple pen and ink drawings of the grim reaper. He might be playing the bongos, posing for a picture (giving rabbit ears to the person next to him), or painting graffiti while smoking a cigarette. While the focus is the text, these pictures illustrate the light-hearted yet morose feeling of the collection.
I enjoyed the interplay between the two authors, as they explored related themes and even echoed each other in the poems. Here are a couple of examples of some lines that struck me:
"The red Sun sinks in the sea.
The blue Moon changes its regular phase.
Life's carousel spins . . . not with me."
"let me fly now, let me fly
a host of angels by my side
my end's nigh now, my end's nigh
soon to see times other side"
Unlike much contemporary poetry, Aleksina and Single's work doesn't completely jettison things like rhyme and meter; I found that refreshing. But they are not married to it. Sometimes the words just flow. Poetry fans, especially those with gloomier tastes, will enjoy this collection.
Thanks to the authors for the complimentary electronic review copy!