[Reviewed by Floyd A. Logan]
Boneyard begins its’ dialog with you immediately, through the cover art and layout. The shape of the book; an elongated rectangle, monolithic, tombstone like. The photograph of a sealed mausoleum is the main feature. This fortressed mausoleum sitting on smooth manicured cemetary lawns is bathed in sunlight, is held in the palm of deep cool shadow, as one would see at the beginning of dusk. It is a metaphoric depiction of Dee’s book in some respects; with head and face exposed , vulnerable in the bright lights of present existence, with soul and body resting deep, still and dormant, as with the bulb of a spring flower now in repose.
There is a reflecting pool in front of the structure. A reflecting pool, displaying an inverse perspective of life, only slightly distorted. How telling that there appears to be more animation and movement in the distortion than in the true subjects.
Acknowledgments: Dee gives thanks to his many sources of inspiration, which includes friends, other poets and professional connections. Dee goes on to speak of the betrayal and abandonment he experienced through some of these same friends. He then describes how this all came to be viewed as part of the necessary process of an artist. Very little is forgotten, even less is forgiven. In spite of (or perhaps because of) this bitterness, Dee feels that he has developed as an artist, and learned how to discern what is worth holding onto.
Floyd A. Logan may be reached at email@example.com. Reviewer’s note: Some (not all) of Dee‘s poems in Boneyard are contained in this review.
Eye For An Eye: Dee uses a ‘flashcard pictorial’ of events to describe someone being judged as guilty of crimes, feeling the guilt, and then paying the ultimate price. It is a short piece, told in a direct, staccato manner, leaving the reader to do their come to one’s own conclusion on the justice of it all. Very effective.
Seppuku: This, as with many writings in this book, is a short piece. It is almost Haiku-like in it’s brevity and in the way it captures the momentary essence of a feeling. Dee speaks here of romanticized victim hood, or abandonment of ego, as told by someone indulgent in their surrender.
Strength: Strength begins with a lower-case d, which may indicate the continuity of emotion, the perpetual sensation of adoration.
Folks can get/purchase a copy of “Boneyard: Poems Of African Struggle And Survival In The U.$.” from Poor Press by clicking on the following webpage link below:
And author-information on Dee Allen here: