Journey of a Whispering Heart describes a tumultuous, passionate journey through a romantic relationship. Divided into five sections, it approximates the progression of love, so as to relate individual to shared experience.
High-spirited, expressive, and energetic, Jason S. Nino’s voice carries the reader along. Infatuation and obsession give way to despair and depression, with the one constant being the poet’s full commitment to his emotions. The book’s best moments are imagistic, such as “I’ve fallen / Into the tunnel of sleep” in “Endless Sleep.” The imaginative construct of “Kissing My Reflection,” along with its mythic echoes, deserves compliments. “Becoming” includes this striking blend of visual and aural:
The notes of the surrounding music,
The quarter notes
With their long smooth legs
And extended black shoes
At times the images are explicitly sensual, as in “Indescribable”:
I thrust my tongue
Into your mouth,
Searching for your own.
In fact, this relationship seems to be primarily physical, and by the third section, it has reached its natural ending. What follows, however, are two sections of “aftermath.” One such section would have sufficed.
At times, the poems are too wordy and vague, reaching for easy rhymes when unrhymed verse would better suit the subject matter. In addition, despite the fullness of the poems, there’s a surprising lack of specifics. In those instances, Nino would do well to remember William Carlos Williams’ famous line: “no ideas but in things.” While lacking the precision of the best poetry, however, this book shows a promising affinity for imagery: “You were the smell of maple honey on a chocolate donut” (“You’ve Left”). It will appeal to the sensitive reader who sees (and uses) poetry as a means to get over a devastating break-up.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.