Divided into multiple sections, Patrick Ashe’s TYPICAL TRAGEDIES is a banquet of heartbreak in which the author gives his all. Many of the poems are brimming with personal woes, much of them seemingly in relation to past relationships and loves lost. There are many examples in which Ashe conveys a sense of loneliness, punctuated by a final, isolated line that captures the essence of the tragedy. Poems such as “Ego-Alter” and “Maudlin Agency” have a succinct quality that punches readers in the gut before moving on. Each work expresses sadness at the destruction of the ego, perhaps even the loss of the self in its entirety. Even poems that are more uplifting and perhaps hopeful — such as “I Wanna Be Like Leonard” — display longing painted with the brush of wistfulness.
There is a change of pace in chapter four in which, having hinted at being a musician, Ashe puts forward examples of unfinished songs. Here the theme alters, moving the melancholic passions of a brooding father aside in favor of verses with a more religious overtone. These could be the author’s attempts at portraying his more spiritual side, dedicating a section of his anthology to these modern-day hymns. There is also a hint of social commentary, particularly in “The Fighters Vs. The Crickets” in which Ashe cleverly imagines the battlefield of social media arguments as a pitch or wrestling ring. He writes this verse in the style of a sports commentator and it shows an example of how deft the author is in showcasing society’s tragedies. One of the anthology’s final poems, “Evergreen Encounter”, bursts through the rest of the work, almost akin to a frolic in a dark and mysterious forest in which beauty is everywhere, but there is still a haunting aspect. While there is a pattern to be seen in the book, the flow of each poem is not always smooth. Sometimes the rhythm feels a little off and, while this is likely to be intentional, it does seem like an odd stylistic choice for someone with a musical side.
TYPICAL TRAGEDIES: A Book of Poetry is a collection of melancholic verses that does exactly what it says–hauntingly chronicles the types of life tragedies that are both personal and relatable, with some beauty thrown into the mix.
~Andrew Heaton for IndieReader