Book Review: Underneath my Soul. Yolanda De Iuliis.

Underneath my Soul is a short collection of poetry by Yolanda De Iuliis and I feel is best compared with a seesaw.  There are poems that are of sensitive topics and yet these are over balanced with the poems wrought with emotion over a broken heart.
Poems No more, Bruises Fade, and The Village Inn are about abuse and suicide. Whereas Nothing Else Mattered, Smoked me Away, and Fall from The Forest are poems I feel more personal to the author and are about heartbreak.
No thought could be a poem about anything that destroys us mentally and I think that particular poem is easily accessible. Bombs is a poem of our government and I like its refrain of ‘All the world is in draught as the government drinks our blood’
Overall I think Underneath my Soul is a good collection of poetry and, although not a light read, offers some hope and is an accompaniment to Yolanda De Iuliis’ Memoir of I.

A copy can be purchased from Amazon, direct from Lumphanan Press or through the Yolanda De Iuliis’ website.

I see me

You are a ghost of my imagination but a refection in my mirror, Making me smile, making me see there is more to me,
A connection driven, all from one passion,
A haunting overcast, unfolds above us,

When I think of you, I see me.

You are a ghost in my dreams but a refection of my nightmares, Making me blind, making me laugh,
A crashing river which will only hurt me,
A muddy ground, unwraps beneath us,

When I think of you, I see me.



Book Review: Confessions of a Self-Loathing Narcissist: A Solipsistic Self-Portrait. Priscilla McGreer.

Confessions of a Self Loathing Narcissist is a collection of poetry that I found too short. I usually think that poetry collections are too long and need to be better edited but this collection by Priscilla McGreer I wanted more of.  It is a beautifully presented work, which gives the reader wonderful imagery and for me, as a fellow poet, inspiration too.
Despite there being some missteps with wording, perhaps going overboard with winding sentences into tangled circles, the effect of these poems is enlightening and I think lead the reader on a journey. I’m not sure how personal these are to the writer but they engaged me. The theme of the poems are dark, covering ‘I belong to a generation of scorpions hiding in sands that
were once a great city’ ‘I like the dark because I am in pain
and it closes around me like fresh armour on a wounded
soldier’ and ‘my mind wanders
and sometimes returns to me bloodied, beaten and
there are places, for instance, where the pen is a penis
and they are unkind to the feminine imagination’

Modern, yet still harks back to the poetry of old, and adds something new to the genre. I love this book, I think you may do too.

A copy can be purchased at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format.
Find out more about the author on Goodreads. 


3 Poems. Jason Mindholl.


burn the wings on my back
ink them, i don’t care

just make them last forever

like the pain of falling
i need to remember


nameless, trampled flower on my feet
dying like most people whom i’ll never meet

endless mass of nothing that matters
just like life itself; simple cycle of suffering

if i weren’t that flower, i would scream


my body type is one of the softer side
so I play your pillow
actually, I don’t really mind
because that means you’re acting as my blanket
warming me night after night
while hugging me oh so gently.

More poems from this poet can be read on their Tumblr page.

Short Story. Extract: part 2. Katie Lewington.

Unlike my girlfriend I am a light sleeper and she wakes me. She pads into the bathroom and uses the toilet. I hear her walk to the letter flap and pull out the post. I hear the slap of the letters as she chucks them onto the mat. I drift off.
‘Wakey, wakey, sleepyhead’ She nuzzles her face into mine, her lips searching for my own and I pull her to me. She squeals and says I’ve bought you breakfast.
‘Mm, you’ I guess.
‘No’ she giggles, draping her arms around me. ‘Food breakfast’
‘Ah, thank you’
She feeds me the buttered toast. Its thick crusts brush crumbs onto my lips and the egg yolk that drips down her fingers. ‘Mm’ she murmurs, sucking it off.
There is a knock on the door.
‘What the fuck’ I say, purely because nobody ever knocks on our door. She puts on a, again mine, dressing gown and answers the door. I burrow deeper, smoothing my hands down my abs and thighs with my slick buttery fingers.
Returning, I ask her but she is already saying ‘somebody from social services. Your sister’s son, well, daughter’
‘Which is it?’
‘He is transsexual’
‘She is unable to care for him. They need to find somebody to care for him’
‘What has my sister done now?’
‘Shoplifting again probably, I don’t know’
‘What did you say?’
‘No thanks’
‘You didn’t’
‘Well, yeah. You don’t want children’
‘I might’
‘We can’t take care of a child’
‘How difficult can it be. You were looking for a new job’
‘Fuck off’
‘Family is family’
‘You won’t even let me have a dog’
‘Yeah, well, that’s personal preference’
‘We aren’t able to have a child’
‘It was a thought. Where is he going to go otherwise?’
‘Is that our problem. You couldn’t give a toss about him ordinarily’
‘I held him the minute after he was born. That is a connection that doesn’t leave’
‘Yeah right’
‘When you’re a mum you’ll understand, you will’
‘Don’t patronize me. What are we doing today?’
‘Social worker left a number, if you want to call’
‘I’m going to have to. My mum would kill me. She always said family problems stay within the family’
‘Don’t be moody’
‘I’m not’
‘Doubt they’ll let us keep him anyway’
‘With me being a stripper and you a whore’
‘Sorry, ex web cam model’

K.L © 2016

Book Review. Please don’t ask. Lyman Ditson.

Please don’t ask is a collection of poetry by Lyman Ditson which begins with a poem of the same name. It isn’t the best poem to begin with, I found it to be confusingly worded but poem a poets lament is humorous and something that is easy to engage with immediately. 
These seem to be simple poems, not at all complex and can be enchanting.  Subjects vary- dogs, carnivals, Noah, clouds and trees. It is quite refreshing to have a lack of love poems in a collection of poetry as well.
I think the title of the poems could have been perhaps more imaginative.  I am also concerned that Lyman Ditson does not put much of his own stamp on these poems. These could have been written by anybody. Of the writer I think maybe I can glean that Lyman Ditson is an outdoors person. It is only until later on in please don’t ask that a more vibrant personality shines through.
Of note prior to eternity
‘remember when we all could see,

prior to eternity,

we laid in glades on silky dew,

peeked thru branches, jigsaws of blue,

touched close the heart beat of a tree’

is a poem that gives us that beautiful phrase, and I think it is a lovely poem. 
Frog heaven is again humorous and tells us the story of a prince, who was bewitched into a frog and he had to wait the princess’s kiss. Trying to feel is the story of a mother on her phone,  while her baby cries beside her. Dark factories I can understand as there are many factories near where I live and, unfortunately, like in the poem are worked by robots,  rather than human beings. Yay!  is a poem about climate change,  short but makes its mark.
With more editing I think that please don’t ask could have been a spectacular collection but as it is a fine collection, with not much to help it stand out from the crowd. I would recommend this for anybody who enjoys poetry and you can form your own thoughts.

A copy can be purchased here.

Poem. She. Katie Lewington.

She woke, read a chapter of her book
fell back asleep,  her eyes were unable to stay open
second time woken
she was horny
scrabbling around in her sheets to touch her sensitive spots

in the bath
wet and soapy
she is fast to text you
although she hates messaging
she is burning up
you are slow on the phone
what can she expect

she will go it alone and tell you later.

K.L 2016  ©


Short Story. Extract. Katie Lewington.

I arrive home in the early hours of dawn. I cannot wait to get into the shower and let this all wash down the drain. Of course, I can’t wait to see my girl too. Yesterday I came home to find her locked in a yoga position and today who knows! But she never ceases to amuse me.
There is a strong scent in the air. I look into the bedroom. A candle on the bedside cabinet is slowly burning and I blow on its flame, killing it and using the street light from below I read the name on the label: wet grass.
Hhmm. I bring the candle to my nose and sniff, smells nothing like.  My girlfriend mumbles, in her sleep I think. I press my lips to her cheek and bring back the curtain a bit, observing her naked top half. Her breasts are clasped together as she sleeps on her side, wearing bottoms, my pyjama bottoms.
I got into the bathroom, softly run the shower head and rinse the pubes from the tub. I let the water temperature warm. I step under its water fall and brush myself with the soap, running my hands through my hair and wiggling a finger in my ear cavity for wax.
I take a breath and in a single movement, from switching off the water, shaking myself and dashing, throwing myself into bed, under the cover of the duvet and cuddling my girlfriend. I stroke her tummy and inhale her, kissing her shoulder, hair. I don’t find it too difficult to fall asleep. This is heaven right here.

(this is the rough draft of the novella I started to write a few months ago. I’ve lost all confidence for this now. To continue or to give it up?)

K.L © 2016

Book Review: Yaser and Yasmeen: An Epic Poem. Saleh M. Radaideh


The first poem in this collection, Yaser and Yasmeen: An Epic Poem,  is amazing because of the energy and apathy it details of youth and people, perhaps, in their early twenties, who might be lost and are always looking for something. I do think this poem is cultural and, in the way Ginsberg did with Howl, manages to tell about an entire generation.
The poems that follow are of the same, a group of lads joking around:  1 trying to win over the heart of a girl, and all in the pursuit of happiness, while squashing down boredom. But our narrator is also contemplative and questions many of the traditions and ideals that we live with. Chapter 3: UFO’s exist!  brings up some interesting thoughts in the lines ‘some say it’s suicide…’
Ali and Basim are two characters, two of the lads, in the poems and their very differing stories are enlightening. Well told, so we feel their despair and torment at life. The narrative is good and I like that this collection isn’t random, it has a purpose and the ending of the book goes into heaven and hell, which I’m still thinking over. 
Chapter 13: Rise above is probably my favourite poem.
There are a lot of quotable lines in this book. That poem probably has most of them.
The style of these poems are formal and they rhyme too, wasn’t sure about that at first but it won me over.

A copy can be purchased here.