Life

Andre Flack

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 55 Price: (paperback) $10.30 ISBN: 9781466966505 Reviewed: February, 2014 Author Website: Visit »

The front cover of this short poetry book features a blurry black-and-white photograph of inner-city life. Imposing skyscrapers, glaring lights and a bustling crowd invite introspection. Indeed, the 11 poems in this collection (printed on right-hand pages only) underscore this impression, with titles such as “I Walk Alone,” “Who Am I” and “Seek Direction.”

The issues addressed here include identity, forgiveness and morality. While they’re focused on universal subjects, the poems are filtered through the author’s language and perspective, which narrows its accessibility. Described in common street vernacular with numerous grammatical, spelling, punctuation and capitalization errors, these poems possess an admirable unpretentiousness but present reading challenges.

In the first poem, author Andre Flack writes, “Everybody know what should be / teached preached and read / Everybody will teached preach and read nothing.” In “Who Am I,” he writes: “Sometime I need help / Sometime I have to much pride to ask / sometime I get weary but I will / never give up on a task.” Language skills also distort meanings in such lines as: “Were all victim of our own demise / because were all participants in our own vise.”

Though the author’s insights are expressed mostly through clichés – “speak from the heart,” “wise man who sometime plays the fool,” “went to a better place – a few fresh expressions brighten this work. In “What am I searching for?” Flack writes, “If anguish was a language I would / be a famous author” and in “Sometime I wonder,” he observes, “Brothers who should have been more / concern with been good fathers / Instead they chose to wear prison / color rather than a blue collar.”

In sum, this collection is obviously earnestly written and well-intended, but it requires aggressive editing to better convey its messages and broaden its appeal.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Bluefield, Virginia
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