LOVE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE ENDS OF LOVE, selections from ‘The Many Loves of Duane Vorhees’
The above mentioned book, published by Hawakal Publishers, Kolkata (2018), is a collection of love poems highlighted in 4 sections, Prologue, Beth, Jenny and Yeobo in 64 pages. In the beginning, the author started with a poem “Either Alzheimer’s or the lightning bolt” as if he declared that the end of love does and doesn’t mean ‘the end’ at the same time. It speaks of romantic and anti-romantic relationships:
“The ends of love
are but two
: your V8 plunges from the surface
and, crucified like a butterfly in time,
helpless consciousness heightened,
you hover in slow motion witness
to the juggernaut earth’s decay …”
The author described himself as a scholar, professor, performer, actor, model, journalist (dish washer, truck driver, lifeguard, door-to-door salesman, laborer…), and poet. Undoubtedly, his exceptional and adventurous life experience is glowing through the lines here and there, where beautiful metaphors take the reader’s imagination to watch a wonderful dream movie on the mind screen. The below lines from “Ah! Nights” are one of a kind:
“you were queen of the hive
and I a drone among the honeys
getting a buzz on and doing my job
plunging among the dusky clover
trying to pollinate the skies
to flower the night with stars.
To lose my only stinger would be to die -”
“Without You Beth” is talking about the tragic moments that may happen in everybody’s journey of life when they have to bow to death since they have no choice but let their loves go “Death./ Abyss-dropped coffin. /Everyone wept ….”
The word choice in “Mushrooming” is benevolently clever. “sAVAnnA” is an eye-catching visual art, and an odd and simply sophisticated poem of this book. “no one has ever noted for eternity …” and “none has ever praised” take the mind to the deeper layer when it comes to read Atoll. Perhaps the narrative in “For Love” isn’t a man like “Many a man has decayed and gone to bugs—but not for love.” The Beast is an amalgamation of darkest desires and finest sentiments, flowing as smooth and mesmerizing as water drops:
“I love your body’s several smiles
as I press my name on all your mouths.
I love the way your body smiles
in some of your most surprising places.”
Confession at the end of the book reveals that the poet has spoken with different voices. This isn’t simply a collection of love poems as the author stepped in the other levels of relationships. “Take Me In” has intriguing rhythm and beat in a way that the reader finds him/herself to whisper it or recite it load.
I am really pleased and delighted to have a chance to get my hands on these amazing poems. For me, every line of the book makes sense and fills my heart with both joy and grief which are two sides of the love sword. I highly recommend my friends and students read this book and let their imagination fly across the land of love.