Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dreaming in Darkness by Jessica Kristie

Dreaming in Darkness is a journey of emotion.  It is a voyage of transformation. At times it is a place to empathize. You will find a smile creep across your lips.  You will undoubtedly have sympathy take hold of your hand as you travel the course Jessica lays out page by page.

The book is broken down into four sections. The first is entitled Glimpses of the Sun, which is composed of six articles of poetry.  Next is Dreaming in Darkness and the twenty-four pieces it offers.  Love, Lust and the Magic of Desperation contains twenty-one pieces which help bring this journey to a close. The last section is a collection of seven prose poems labeled as Moments.

A traditional method to compose a review or critique, for a book of poetry, is to identify several poems and explain or dissect their meaning.  This is not a method I abide by.  I don't feel it fair to explain each poem, nor do I feel it just to critique something possessing so many possibilities.  I strongly believe in poetry, for what it is, a tool for the reader to examine themselves, as they walk in the shadow of the poet.  What may seem obvious to one person may be defined as completely opposite for the very next.  Sure, when reading a poem, you may see no other possible analysis or meaning to those specific lines of poetry.  Yet, even in such cases, just because you see, hear or feel something, doesn't mean anything to the relevance your sentiment has upon the poet or their poetry.  Actually, a caveat, what you feel is exactly the poet's intent. It is what they crave, when they first put pen to paper.  This is the majesty of poetry.  Poetry can, and most times will, have unlimited meaning.  An idea that holds true, even when the poet discusses their inspiration.

Therefore I will not offer my interpretation, of the fifty-eight pieces in Dreaming In Darkness.  What I will do is examine this book from a broader perspective.

Jessica truly does have a way of weaving words.  She doesn't dangle abstraction for abstraction's sake.  There are plenty of intricate and metaphorical moments throughout Dreaming in Darkness, yet each contributes intrinsically to the overall design.

She takes you on a personal expedition.  You will travel from a baseline of personality, as seen in Glimpses.., to a dark and saddened distortion of that persona in Dreaming.., only to find catharsis in Love, Lust..  The section on prose does a nice job of summation, lending a few surprises I will not sour by identifying.

The moods are pronouncedly different as you move from section to section.  Just by looking at the language, you get a tremor, a sense of what is being said.  Her use of white space and systematic spacing assist this breadth of transformation .  Normalcy moves to abstraction which leads to depression.  Sadness then meets up with ambivalence and the cycle rises past normalcy to discovery and dare I say a glimmering epiphany.

The themes used in Dreaming in Darkness are universal for mankind.  You will find yourself identifying with themes like reflection, affirmation, loss, surrender, life, creation, anger, vengeance, sorrow and discovery to name but a few.  You may find yourself drifting from Jessica's words to your own memories and back.  She connects.

Her writing illustrates how human experience, while greatly personal, has a scope that transcends boundaries.

After reading Dreaming in Darkness:

You will find answers you didn't know you were looking for.  You will rediscover images you weren't ready to address, yet alarmingly you will find yourself strong enough for confrontation.

Without knowing Jessica Kristie on a personal level, you will feel as if you've shared many a midnight conversation, over coffee at a mainly barren diner.  The kind with pleather seats and awkwardly discolored linoleum.  Dim lights hanging overhead, as you stir the spoon, around and around, as life unfolds.

You will find that your emptiness, those troubles you've been bottling inside of you, for only God knows how long, are echoed by another.  Thus realizing you may not be as alone as you previously thought.  Which that, in and of itself, is something you should always seek and strive toward.

You will certainly decide to type @jesskristie into the who to follow search space on twitter.

You will definitely want to frequent her blog where the conversation is continued at

And perhaps, you will be inspired to join in a poetical conversation of your own.

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