I have been reading poetry for many years, and it’s always special when I have the chance to read something from a friend, acquaintance, or local poet. When Aflame popped up on my Facebook feed I knew I had to buy it! Taylor’s Amazon listing here.
I am not a literary critic. I don’t really take up any lens outside of my own preference and ever-shifting tastes. I’m just a fan of poetry.
In my opinion, some of the best poetry comes from deaths, break-ups, and pain. Thinking about how things have ended often inspires people to think of how they began, and reckoning with the good / bad of the past makes for vibrant verse.
Aflame is a chapbook that deals readily in the currency of nostalgia, memory, hope, anger, and desire. The reckoning feels earnest and honest. The style is situated firmly in the kind of first-person free verse that I believe has ushered in a new Golden Age of poetry. Aflame takes notes from Confessional verse, or the modern, Instagram equivalent–which often mourns lost loves and revels in the passion of romance, sometimes simultaneously.
My favorite poem from the chapbook is early on, on p. 9, titled “faraway storm”. I appreciate concrete details and passion working in tandem. My favorite quote about poetry is one by Louis Borges’: “Art is algebra plus fire.” I tend to think of concrete details and metaphors in a poem as the “algebra”, with the feelings expressed as the “fire”. That’s why I like this poem, since it weaves both together.
Here it is:
i'll never know why i failed to be more to you than pixels on a screen or 900 thread count cotton sheets but i do know that you failed to see the heat in my sky i may not have been the storm that struck you, but i'll be back more electric than you've ever seen and that's a promise
Excited to see more from this poet!