A Rough Self-Portrait


So, I guess it’s time for a little self-promotion. Alternative Control has been kind enough to yield another book review to allow me to flaunt myself for a second time. That’s very nice of them, isn’t it? It is. And yet by agreeing to this, I’ve also put myself in a very awkward position. My new book entitled Sketches represents a facet of my creative output that I’ve been able to shy away from up to this point. It’s an aspect of inspiration that I really shouldn’t be promoting, or be giving that much attention to. Within this book are poems based almost entirely on personal turmoil. It exists as a purging of my demons, and because of this I really don’t feel all that comfortable explaining it in detail. Suffice to say, this article will be short.

 So what will you be reading? Poems. Poems about my feelings. More accurately, they’re poems about my feelings back in 2008, when apparently I had a lot I needed to get off my chest. All of the poems are written in a very loose way, representing the misguided randomness of emotional outburst. I arranged my usual visual style of poetry to act as a platform for expressing all kinds of anger, depression, bitterness, humiliation, shame, guilt, obsession and violence. Not every poem is completely autobiographical, but the emotions are certainly real. Some deep secrets are embedded carefully into some of the imagery, hidden behind the ramblings of an irrational soul. At its most energetic, the book wants to kill someone, or off itself. At its calmest, it mopes along in unrequited love and defeatism. So yes, it’s real happy stuff.

 The basic premise of this work is not only to let out some demons, but to display the general human tendency for impetuousness. I don’t think my personal experiences are anything special, or apart from experiences that almost everybody faces from time to time. In order to show this irrationalism honestly, I had to reach deep inside myself for the spark that would put words to the paper. It’s somewhat of a risky road to take, which I guess is the reason that I’m proud of what I did here – in a weird sort of way.

When I did reach inside myself, I found a prevailing ailment which comes up almost 90% of the time in these poems. Girl troubles quickly came to the forefront when I started writing this, and didn’t fail to manifest throughout the whole process. There’s not really a lot to say about it, and the poems speak for themselves really. I don’t need to get into what I’ve done and what girls have done to me in the past. Nor do I want to get into any other kind of subject that comes from this book. I wrote it, structured it and published it. It’s a done deal for me. For you, I hope that it gives some insight and stands as a bit of therapy. Deep down, I know everyone can be just as reckless, envious and spiteful as I have been. So, here’s some commentary on your disposition — and speaking of which, here’s a peek inside:

The Girl Who Cried Rose Petals

And when I gather them tears,

I will make my bedroom a bountiful garden

A hidden treasure cave in ancient South America

Flowers made from your storybook


I will water them every day,

so that they grow from torn paper

into lifelike statuettes

Red, ruined, ravaged baby dolls

Like they had cloned your sad, pretty face

and wrapped it in celluloid valentine wrap


They will sing me to sleep

as cold air swims through their mouth holes

Each of them gathering frosty tears to seep


Keep your crying…

He’s never coming back

And I have much of my life to get back

with this new hobby of mine

Spending my off-days crafting your pain

into a breathtaking ecological museum. 


Copies of my book are available from me personally, or you can order them direct from createspace.com at https://www.createspace.com/3872288 for $10. Thank you for the support!

Cover art for Sketches created by Jim Clegg.