Publisher:
Outskirts Press

Publication Date:
12/08/2021

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1977250193

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
19.95

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TALES OF A TRAVELER IN POETRY AND PROSE

By Brion K Hanks

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
3.5
Readers will feel uplifted by Brion K. Hanks' technically flawed but emotionally vibrant poems in his TALES OF A TRAVELER IN POETRY AND PROSE.

A collection of poems spanning fifty years of the writer’s life.

In the vein of Rod McKuen, or Susan Polis Schutz (poet and founder of Blue Mountain Arts, the greeting card company), or Leonard Nimoy (not Star Trek but those books he wrote in the 1970s), Brion K. Hanks is a writer of feeling. His poems do not focus on images. They do not use clever wordplay or espouse some dark worldview. Readers will connect emotionally with his lyrics, the earliest of which, written in the 70s and 80s, exhort them to be kind, look inward, and treasure the moment while also looking to the future. Love is an especially prominent theme, as when he writes, “A void left at the lake short; / I wonder, how long my love / Before we might at least / Talk and hold each other?” In another poet’s hands, such a scenario would lead to a long lament, but Hanks ends on a high note: “I love you still / I always will.” Later poems are more explicitly religious, such as 2021’s “A Baker’s Dozen,” which consists of thirteen lines each beginning with “I am Grateful.” Hanks’s meter is sometimes irregular, and he is no stranger to mixed metaphors (“Like a butterfly flittering on the wind / The weight of worry was washed away.”). Yet readers will feel uplifted by his everything’s-gonna-be-all right outlook.

In addition to Hanks’ poetry, TALES OF A TRAVELER IN POETRY AND PROSE offers a nine-page “essay” called “God for an Interim Period of Time.” To call this an “essay” is to stretch the meaning of the term. It takes the form of a monologue by God in which he vents his anger at the failed “Earth Experiment” and vows that things are going to change. “There is no escape from the karma of your own making,” he says, which is strange because karma is a concept in Asian religions like Buddhism. Then he promises to stop all wars, redistribute wealth, force acceptance of all viewpoints–in other words, God is a Democrat, except when he says, “In a flash, you shall be taken to a knot of hell where you will be held for as long as it takes in order to have you choose to change your ways,” which seems more in line with MAGA Republican philosophy. Bottom line: the tone of this prose interlude is all over the place. Readers would do better to focus on the poems, which are simple but elegant.

Readers will feel uplifted by Brion K. Hanks’ technically flawed but emotionally vibrant poems in his TALES OF A TRAVELER IN POETRY AND PROSE.

~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader

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