Book Review for a journal of the plague year:

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume IX Issue V





a journal of the plague year: on the edge of . . .



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: a journal of the plague year

Author: Edward Smallfield

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2021

Pages: 32


“Drowned amongst a sea of faintly falling ashes”
- from Monuments by This or The Apocalypse


Somewhere in paradise, there is a crisis, the entropy slow and slow, a man lays on a white linen bed, his wife at the desk, the window is open, the hot summer, the sea in the distance. He is contemplating the white walls . . . they birth, a journal of the plague year by Edward Smallfield, with his Muse, Valerie Coulton, a Chapbook published by above/ground press. Edward Smallfield and Valerie Coulton are poets, originally from California, living in Spain. He is internationally published, with numerous Chapbooks and four collections of poetry available.

An exciting Art Nouveau offering, enigmatic, at times Haikuesque, exquisite and profound, a play on beauty. The broken thought train connects an overall picture, an essence, perhaps noblesse oblige in the setting sun. The poetry spins into surrealist imagine, an oeuvre of light, now in disallure, the perfect love affair exists lost in time inside some beautiful European seacoast town. On the edge of paradise, as if experiencing travel to some unnamed calamity, the Apocalypse Café, traveling towards the café, going past the café but never actually arriving, to arrive is to invite calamity.*

This poetry features lists, 5 lists with 13 lines, a few words, no periods accent the numbering perhaps a certain attempt at creating push, for a slow universe. The words themselves move across the page, creating space and flow, breath. An exquisite read of an afternoon, to wish for Summer.

“algorithms
swirl the petals

stained doves

alight
in the branches

a collection of notes whose exact purpose remains obscure

The images are interwoven with the landscape, the seaside country, the state of thoughts, their love affair, the actual experiences of the day, a beautiful montage on the edge of. The poetry talks of a meal at a café, discovering the work of a poet (a friend known to his mother), a magnolia tree (a view from the window), stories of masks, driving along the coast, serving wine at a café, a subtle protest, the experience of lockdown, a life in poetics.

Incroyable. An eloquent poetic event in the Zen of love affair in the time of coronavirus, a brilliant write, a journal of the plague year by Edward Smallfield and the Muse.

*An image borrowed from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.



Available @ above/ground press.




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