I read this book via my e-reader. This is a unsolicited review.
oh goodness… Mark Ryan is one of my absolute favorite poets. Top five easily. So reading a book of his that tells a story…. uhhh much like my own book… which, by the way, his came first. And honestly, if I knew THIS book existed, I would not have put mine together. It’s embarrassing really. But it’s too late. I already finished mine (which closely resembles his by pure coincidence really!!) and I don’t want to scrap the whole project. So… what did I love? Ummm how about everything?? I love his style, I love the subject, I love outer space and nature themes, yessss, I’m gushing with love for this book. Buy it. You need it. I can see it in your eye.
There were a few typos and misspellings which are a pet-peeve of mine BUT the poetry is so good I am able to forgive it.
Trying to pick favorites is basically impossible. I chose 13 must-reads… out of 66, people! Clearly I have a poetry crush. Okay. Hold on to your… hats or whatever else you hold on to when bracing yourself, here are some favorite lines from some outstanding works:
Kisses That Scar – uummm deliciously gorgeous imagery centered around passionate love “Paint the walls of my mouth with your honey, let your tongue find a place to rest.”
Photosynthesis in Retrograde – incredible imagery like “I curl back into tomorrow.”
Heaven in Reverse – “These seas are evaporating, leaving sand in my ear. As I hold the shell of you close to me.”
Dangerous – starting with “Whiskey breathe and Ritalin eyes.” You know this is gonna be a wickedly good poem.
Raging Storm – “No eye to your needle of chaos.”
Skeletons in the Sky – this is one where every time I read it, I see a different twist; it’s like a decadent tiramisu poem (that’s a thing, I’m sure it is) “Cracking my skull like an egg. Dipping their fingers inside.” Damn, right??
Golden Gravity’s Pull – “Reach inside, run your knuckles up my spine….. Tasting dinosaur blood and DNA.”
Slipping in Stars – I cried so hard when I read this, like ugly sobbing crying, I felt the emotions so strongly. “Choking on solar flares, breathing in a new tomorrow…. But I wipe this away and breathe in the galactic air. Allowing cosmosis to take me deep within you, and all your little galaxies.”
Stellar Sight – let me share the one line that made me utterly delight in this poem: “deep filled gooey splatter of time” (you feel the urge to read the poem in entirety now, don’t you??)
Winged Limitation – ohmygod the last line killed me “Can birds fly in space?” thing is, you’re going to have to read the rest of it to feel why that line is so kick-ass.
Cor(e) – I literally don’t know what line to share, the entire thing is so intertwined and the imagery so vicious. “You punch me in the chest and feel my heartbeat. Cool hands on this fiery organ. The skin peels away.”
Down Within – cold seeping into your heart and bones as love is lost “He lay on the cold bank. Shedding his tears into deeper pools.”
Odyssey – “After all, I’m not where I want to be. If I’m honest, I’m ashamed. Stuck in mortality, delicious sweet vitality.”
(1/4 for quantity of typos, 1/4 for length (could have been twice as long for me…. which hardly seems fair to lose a score based on LACK of length but it’s my grading system)
A collection of 66 poems by Mark Ryan. Now Mr. Ryan fits in easily as one of my top five all-time favorite poets. So that perhaps makes me slightly biased.
Choosing only a handful of favorites from this group of poems was nearly impossible because I literally liked every single poem. There was a space theme to the overall poetry contained in this book, but not exclusively so. All my favorite elements: incredible visuals, deep emotions, layers of personality, outer space and nature (it’s kinda my thing), love and loss, memories and reality checks. I can read Mr. Ryan every single day quite happily. So my initial list of must-reads was thirteen, which I realize is too long for a review… I’ve shortened it to six (and believe me, it wasn’t easy) but you can see the full list and review over on my blog if you want more… or just buy his book and see for yourself (that’s my recommendation).
Kisses That Scar – oh my goodness absolutely gorgeous imagery of burning love
Heaven In Reverse – And I quote: “Holding onto this honey in my hands. Trapping it forever in amber.”
Skeletons In The Sky – layers upon layers of intensely vivid imagery
Golden Gravity’s Pull – if you only read one of Mr. Ryan’s poems, this is a great example of his style and reach
Slipping In Stars – actually moved me to uncontrollable tears to the point I had to put the book down for a day and come back to it
Cor(e) – this is another of those “if you only read one” poems… this is not to say they are the best of the best but more that they are shining examples of his voice
I can not recommend this author or this book of poetry highly enough. Gorgeous read cover to cover.
be a good writer: read.
**If this review was helpful or you’ve read it and want to add to the discussion, please let me know in the comments!
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