A debut collection of poetry, dreams, songs and rap lyrics.
This slim volume is arranged into three sections: poems, descriptions of dreams and song lyrics. Each have a similar tenor, offering an emotional SOS from the very edge of despair. The writer explores mental instability, torment and sexual abuse, with a specific focus on the bedroom. The poem “Midnight Cry” epitomizes a feeling of sickly unease building to terror, which is present in much of Lopez McGraner’s work. In it, a person is unsettled by a predator’s approach: “You’re just getting sleepy and heading off / to dreamland / When all of a sudden, you feel a strange / hand.” The subject then braces for a sexual assault: “You have a bad feeling that more bad is / nearing / Your clothes are disappearing and your / eyes are tearing.” Lopez McGraner shows inherent bravery in facing unthinkable subjects head-on. However, the author’s handle on the mechanics of poetry is undoubtedly weak; the persistent use of rhyming couplets and forced half-rhymes may be intentional, in order to perpetuate an innocent, childish tone, but there’s an off-putting literary naivete throughout. The short dream section contains only two pieces: “Orange Dream,” set on the streets of a futuristic planet, and “Bubble,” in which the subject faces a wall of “issues, trials and tribulations.” These pieces express psychological torment with more clarity and cohesion, as they’re not constricted by rhyme and meter. As for the song lyrics, they ache to be performed with musical accompaniment, as they appear somewhat flat on the page. Overall, this collection is an admirably courageous journey into a series of foreboding worlds. It would have benefited from a greater degree of literary skill, but the author’s pain remains palpable despite inappropriate word choices and clunky rhythms.
A psychologically dark but somewhat amateurish compilation.