Love, Ink, & Sin |Review

Poetry by Grace Black

Createspace, February 01, 2017

ISBN : 9781542716666

Available on Amazon  $8.95


Grace Black’s second book of poetry, Love, Ink, & Sin, is a moving collection of remarkable, well crafted poetry and prose that awakens the weary from slumber and swells the heart with a provocative tale of a love lost and a heart-moving to the mend.

This collection is divided into three sections, Lie of Love, Lay with Love and Lain for Love.  Lie of Love introduces the reader–welcomes them with tantalizing stanza’s like,

Soul-drunk echoes

and night-blue passion

licked our naked hips

Midnight in my arms

you were my 

undrunk river

Powerful imagery of a love igniting sets the stage of this first set of poems/prose. An invitation to glimpse inside the intimacy of a fresh romance. Ms. Black chooses her words with care and reveals a tender, yet explosive exchange between lovers. With each turn of the page the reader falls slowly into the well of their love with its ebb and flow, reaching a height so unimaginable it begs to answer the ever curious question, “Is this love?” or as the title of this chapter suggests, is it a “Lie of Love? ”

Lay  with Love, the second “chapter” of this collection, takes the readers captured heart and pulls them all the way in. Welcoming them into a private, secret place reserved only for lovers. She masterfully uncovers an erupting sadness enveloping within the walls of the relationship they thought was so carefully constructed.  Take deliberate consideration of this stanza, its inference subtle while at the same time bold in its hint,

His hands painted intimacy

on the canvas of my flesh,

but his insecurites sank

their teeth into survival

and dawn came again

in the same hue as yesterday,

and the day before,

and the day before that

It’s a loney hue; the color of regret.

The tide is turning, as relationships often do, despite the intensity held within that first wave as it crashed upon the beach.  Sadness slips in as words lie like lovers on wrinkled sheets within the written pages that come next.  The reader is all in now, feeling almost voyeuristic, as the tension builds to a climax, then a page is turned and there it is, the beginning of the final set of poems, Lain for Love, and you read,

This empty air

contains all the missing

of you-

Stopped by the words and remembering to breathe, a hesitation to turn the page occurs. The need for a commercial break becomes apparent as the reader is spent but at the same time so intrigued they push forward with an anxiety so thick the ends of their fingers tingle and their heart lurches.

The concluding prose is so brilliantly laced together with desire, regret, loss and most profoundly…rememberance. It is indescribable, truly. You must read it yourself, I don’t dare rush the words or feelings on your behalf, you must experience it solely.

Without question, the following stanza, for me, was the most compelling.

Graphic marrow of your pain

met with mine

and this reverberant laughter

licked the slow smoke skies

and the rain fell through me

as a sluice to skin and where

I now begin-

This mingling of poetry and prose spread across ninety-nine clean pages is a narrative stitched together so intensely you will find yourself breathless as the end draws near. Even the concluding index appears to be in poetic meter.

Clearly a writer who pours her soul into each and every effort she puts to print, Grace Black is definitely one to watch in 2017.

*An additional note, the book as a whole is the beauty in its utter simplicity. Almost in contrast to love itself, the publication is strictly black and white whereas love is never that simple.  The choice to align left, align right and center the typeset on occasional pages is a bold statement and is a visual descriptive of the notion that often love truly is an unpredictable balance of ‘if only’s’ and ‘what if’s’ for so many.





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