I Am One of You

Nicole M.K. Eiden

Publisher: Mississippi Sound Publishing, LLC Pages: 44 Price: (paperback) $15.00 ISBN: 9780988212657 Reviewed: December, 2015

This chapbook of 30 poems examines people, places, and events in the author’s life, everything from major events – death and motherhood – to mundane observances, such as the function of a spoon rest and rain falling on trees.

Written in free verse, the author favors a flowing style of enjambment, which produces a casual, stream-of-consciousness that carries ideas from line to line, generally forgoing traditional punctuation and pauses.

The first poem and arguably the best, “Real Mohicans don’t dress for the weather, at least not on Halloween,” takes readers on a surreal Halloween adventure from the author’s childhood. What begins as wearing “Kathryn’s real deal Indian princess costume from last year” evolves into a surprising emotional meltdown upon paying a visit to her own empty house. “…I run to it / bang on the side door. Mom must be dozing / Dad is in the basement on the computer. Or changing laundry./ I must be in my room petting my cat.”

Other highlights, “The Bridge” and “Mortgage,” offer literal and figurative looks at two common occurrences: crossing bridges and paying mortgages, respectively. The poem, “When I’m With You” evokes joyful, relatable memories in one brief, fleeting image: “I want to have a basket on/ my bike too find/ every hole in the street / avoid falling and celebrate/ such fortune.”

More insightful than emotional, the book concludes with the seven-page memoir poem “Everything In This World.” Unfortunately readers are left out of the inner circle as this lengthy poem explores the specifics of the speaker’s family life, not easily accessible to others.

Overall, this skillfully written collection uses representative details to symbolize the whole. Although some poems are a tad too personal to relate to a general audience, the majority of the work effectively examines universal themes, such as loss, love, friends, family, and daily life. It is sure to be appreciated by anyone who enjoys contemporary poetry.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
New Orleans, Louisiana
Author's Home Town
Columbus, Ohio
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