STUFF I'VE BEEN FEELING LATELY - BY ALICIA COOK

February 24, 2017

How do you talk about a poetry book? You don't. You can't. 
You see, if you'd asked me to do a review of this book years ago, I would have done it; I would have collected all my pretentious words and put them all real nice on a blank page, hoping they'll do justice. 
But now it's just hard.
Not because the book was bad, not at all. But because I know what it means to put your heart into pages and send it to the world. I know what it means to feel unsure and vulnerable when your soul is out there, waiting for people to crush it or to love it. It's hard. 

Let's say you keep a diary; one day you decide that diary is worth sharing with an audience. You collect your best pieces, give them an order, maybe some numbers too, then wrap them up with a nice cover and voilà, now the world has a way to your personal life, a one-way ticket to the depths of your heart. You don't want them to hate it; you don't want them to judge it because once they do, they will inevitably judge you, your life, your choices and everything in between. You don't want that. It's personal and you are not sharing it with others only to get criticised but because maybe they will find some sense in those pages, a common factor that could relate to them, to their lives so they'll feel less alone.

So here's my dilemma: how do you review someone's heart? You don't. You can't.
But I have to talk about it because I have this urge to know more about modern poetry and since I'm giving it a go myself, I need more material to study on.

This book is clever. You can see it from the cover. It's an actual cassette and honestly, after getting it, it kinda made me want to get through my old cassettes and re-live the oh-so-good old times. 



The fact that it's a cassette makes perfect sense. Have you ever read Milk and Honey? That book was divided in four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. Alicia Cook's little gem is also divided but in two: Side A- The Poems and Side B- The Remixes.
As you can expect, the first part is full of Alicia's poems; a good mixture of everything: love, loss, family, places, memories, you name it, this book has it. The second part is dedicated to "Blackout poetry". If you don't know what that is, let me just explain it to you. It's a form of art in which you take a page from an old book, a dictionary, whatever, something with words on it and the fun part is that you have to find the words you like and try to write a poem with the words you find in that page, blacking out the rest. This concept is so interesting! Just think about it: instead of getting rid of old books you don't like anymore, you can turn them into something else, into your own art, a showcase of your heart. 

What is really interesting about this book is that, as I said before, it's hella clever. There is a reason why the whole concept is linked to a cassette, from the cover to the layout: every single poem was inspired by a song the author was listening to while writing. You will find a track at the end of every poem all throughout the whole book. I love this concept! 
I am one of those people who gets really motivated by music; I can listen to some songs and think of a scene in my head to write afterwards. And this is what Alicia did. 

I loved it. I can't say I loved every single poem because, as everything in life, some experience shape a person and we can't relate to everything someone else has been through but I did love a lot of them (the dog ears can prove it!).

If you are interested in modern poetry and also want to give blackout poetry a go, this is definitely the book for you.

I really liked this little bundle of emotions and I'm sure you would like it too!



Have you ever read a poetry book? I'm quite a collector so I'm curious, which one did you read? 
Also, do you think you will give "Stuff I've been feeling lately" a go? If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below or drop me a tweet!

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