Intro: I received an e-copy of this book from the poet for an honest review.
Poetry, like any form of heartfelt writing, comes from within. The mind sees both the mundane and the special and processes them into words and stanzas. Brice Maiurro’s début poetry collection is one such book.
The book is fresh in that the poems have subjects and titles that one doesn’t normally come across. So there are letters to the fly on the wall as also musings on the various spellings of tomato. One thing that remains unchanged is the connection and allusions the poet draws between him and these things, even if they don’t impact him directly.
The poet discusses the nature of life and our response to various situations. Some of the poems are uncannily funny, like Bathroom Stall at the King Soopers on Monaco and Leetsdale. And there are some that struck me with their POV, like Phone Calls I Should Be Making, where the poet presents our life on this earth and apocalypse as analogous to an omelette being prepared.
that we all have just
on the inside of an
enormous blue egg
the whites of the
blue oceans run loose
into a frying pan mixed
with the inner core yolk
and we are cooked
ooh and mushrooms
maybe some feta cheese
Some of the poems seem to have rolled straight off the top of his head, as if he looked at a thing and jotted down the first thought that came to his mind. That has allowed a spontaneity to the work, an unbridled spirit that has worked to provide a unique touch to them. The downside is that some of these same works look incoherent, even perplexing. I had to think long and hard to find hidden meanings (if any) behind them. Some weird ones also exist, like The Bardo, which is almost a prose-like.
Another feature of many of the poems is the usage of a mystery-like structure. The author seems to be talking about something vague for around 95% of the poem before unveiling what it was all about.
The most lyrical one of the lot is I Shot a Bullet at the Mirror and the Mirror Shot Back. It has a rhythm that is absent in most parts of the book. Date With a Beautiful Woman (Where I Turn Into a Werewolf) is another wonderful, wonderful poem. The way the contrast between the calm outer appearance and the devilish inner monologues is presented is simply wonderful.
The numerous pop culture and movie references also demanded attention. The Beatles, Murakami, Simon Gruber (from Die Hard 3) and El Chapo among others, all find mentions. We have thinly disguised commentary and critique of the worldwide state of affairs too, especially of America. Two later poems bring this front and centre but it forms a part of the collection right from the beginning.
Honourable mentions include Color Test, Reckless, Past Lives, Bukowski #2, The Man From Future (which had more than a touch of sci-fi to it), I Blink And… and Blood On The American Highway.
More than anything though, Stupid Flowers is a peek into the human mind and how, oftentimes, we overlook things around us, things that have their own beauty, existence and importance. It also showcases the poet’s love for life and all the worldly pleasures it has to offer. His keen eye for detail and an everpresent dry humour make this an enjoyable, if slightly uneven read.
Verdict : Stupid Flowers is an ode to life and nature, with subtle commentary on the worldwide state of affairs.
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐1/2
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Thanks for reading.