Revolving Love

A'Ja Simms

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 63 Price: (paperback) $10.99 ISBN: 9781491783689 Reviewed: February, 2016 Author Website: Visit »

The work in Revolving Love traces the ongoing cycle of attraction, sex, love, trust, betrayal, and heartbreak of this speaker’s romantic relationships.

A’Ja Simms’ collection offers poems as well as occasional brief prose passages. Her writing moves between the explicit, though generally without concrete details (”I never thought I would be writing about a broken heart from you. Again! You promised you wouldn’t leave. Again!”) to overly familiar phrases and images (“I want you in my space and inside of me./ […] I want to gently touch your lips with mine. […]/ I want to nestle in your arms while I lay my head on your chest.”)

Often, the work reads as therapeutic journal entries (“I’m tired of being brave. I no longer want to put on a ‘church face’. I can’t stand the crying in the dark”) and private valentines (“You’re my Hunny because every time you passionately look at me/ it refreshes our relationship.// You will always be my Hunny Bunny”).

The pieces here tend to appear unfinished and unpolished because of the pervasive use of inconsistent punctuation and text-message shorthand (“I like u/ I want u/ I can see you being mine/ Omgoodness!” and “U used me but that’s alright Imma be okay). Such aesthetic choices are not consistent throughout the collection, however, which amplifies the haphazard reading experience. Texting conventions, for example, contrast with more fully expressed passages such as: “You won’t let me go, but I can’t hold not telling you that I love you. I don’t know if you want to hear it” and “I have to let go. No matter how I feel. Flutters of my eyes sting with/ warm tears streaming down my face.”

While all readers will relate in some way to the book’s universal themes of desire, love, and loss, these poems require more attention to diction, form and consistency in order to reach a wide readership.

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