A good picture of today's reality
I was given an advanced reader copy some time ago and I was pretty sure it would be forgotten on a shelf. However, knowing the poet (I read several of his poems), I decided it to open it and read it and it was a fine surprise. I have read enough of Marrotti's poems (and stories) to have an idea about how his mind works but this book showed a clearer image of the poet and his recurrent themes.
As always, his poetry is dominated by the free verse and he is not afraid to throw punches here and there, which I find it extremely honest in this era. Most of people hide behind words while he uses words to reveal brutal truths.
This collection of poems is a metaphor and a satire of the times, at the same time. People are taking pills for everything and a lot of people live in a continuous euphoric state. Life has color only if people are riding the cloud of chemicals.
The main themes of the poems are time (which is seen in relation with the hunt for more helping chemical drugs that would erase the troubles of the real life), reality in opposition with the clouds induced by drugs, freedom and slavery in relation with the increased consumption of medication, which most of the time is prescribed with multiple refills.
I noted down only three interesting groups of verses (I don't want to spoil the reading): "living a life of fees/crawling out/of an orange bottle" - interesting metaphor as life is seen through the money paid for drugs; I liked also that "orange bottle" reference, which appears in some of the poems and which seems to become a symbol of the nowadays life when drugs are prescribed left and right for absolutely everything; "This straw/is my sword/This bottle/my shield" - ironic metaphor (note straw versus sword and bottle versus shield). However, I considered that the following verses would sum the entire collection and would portray the present world succinctly: "one white cloud/away from/rectifying this/imbalance".
I am sure the readers will find appealing several contradictions. There is one, though, which I cannot forget: "This dependency/is slavery/but it's the only/ form I know /that offers/ emancipation".
I would recommend this book, especially to young generations. It is brutally honest and shows one of the most terrifying aspects of today's reality.
I gave it only four stars because there were a few instances when I felt that the poet tried to push too hard in order to drive his point home. That being said, I think this is a very good collection of poems and one should take the time and read it.
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