Why Can't I Tell You? by Jimmy Simmons

Why Can't I Tell You?

From the "Cello Publishing Poems" series
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A short poetry collection about love written by three young men.

Poets Justin (Making a Difference in Life, 2014), Simmons, and Tucker present a total of 23 love poems in this compilation. Each author has a distinct style: Simmons draws on more traditional arrangements and is especially fond of rhyme; there’s also a flair for the melodramatic in his verses. Tucker plays around a bit more with rhyme and alliteration than the others, and Justin’s four contributions could be defined as prose poetry. There are some moments that work well in these poems. For example, Simmons nails the first line in “Shown” (“I’m holding chemistry in the palm of my hand”); Tucker writes a lovely sentiment in “Amour” (“Because when we are together / In words / In thought / I can weather the coming winter”); and Justin uniquely observes a new feeling of love in “Love Sponge” (“The first time we met all my feelings got unfolded and I had to express / them to you”). However, there are just not enough of these moments to satisfy readers. Although each poet differentiates himself among his co-writers, their writing as a whole is often stale. The poems often place women on pedestals, as when they refer to them as queens or angels, and the narrators worship and adore these women to the point that the poems often seem false and contrived. The verses fail to bring anything new to the subject of love, as they’re stuck in a clichéd, romantic version of it that sometimes overuses images of tears and kisses. The interspersed photographs seem more fitting for greeting cards than a book of poems; one image shows hands forming a heart over the sun, for example. Other baffling images detract, such as one of a man holding a bowling ball.

An amateurish, saccharine set of love poems.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5142-7072-1
Page count: 50pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


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