So today’s review starts with a huge apology; this review was scheduled to go up a couple of weeks ago now but I’ve been so ill and so busy with work that it’s been pushed back and pushed back and it’s not good! I also apologise to everyone still waiting for reviews; my organisational skills have gone out the window this month and seeing as everything has got all mixed up I’ve just been getting posted what I can. But no fear, November is one of my favourite months and I am dedicating it solely to blogging! Do not panic! I’m going to be reviewing left, right and centre so get ready for an influx of posts. For now, a review of Dirty Beautiful Words by Brooklyn Brayl
This wonderfully written book is a collection of poems that look at the transitioning period for a trans-woman and the difficulties and struggles that happen during this time; both mentally and physically. I have never read anything like this book before and I am so happy that Kris forwarded on the release for me to take a peak because I have wanted to read a book looking at the transgender community and I haven’t found anything quite as beautiful and moving as this.
Told as a coming out story, the format is an artistic and deeply moving collation of poems that although not completely structurally sound (for you strict poem lovers out there,) was for me written with so much passion that I forgot completely about it. I fell in love with the moving sections of raw emotion and honesty that made me feel a little emotional. My eyes were completely opened to the struggles that can occur when becoming a trans-woman and the battle that comes from trying to indentify yourself in a new and completely different gender role. I found the abuse quite abhorrent but the honesty made this all the more moving and important as a piece of work.
I praise Brayl for the delivery of the poems and the words used. I can honestly say I do not know a lot about the trans-gender community but this book taught me a lot about the pain and the difficulty that is sometimes difficult to understand when you’re not in the same position. I liked the way the author played on the idea of the divided self and showed both the feelings before and after allowing a rounded collection of poems that helped to both move the reader but also inform them of some things they may not have known before. I’m not a regular poetry reader but even though some of the metaphors were lost on me the words used and the combination of pain and power was incredibly strong throughout; read this!
‘The sky’s jawbone
Turns into a purple bloodshot ruby
And the sun awakes
To the burn and blare
Of white heat and kaleidoscopic light’
(It’s really rather wonderful isn’t it!)
Brooklyn Brayl delivers a sublime collection of poems that are honest, destructive, raw, painful and also angry. But they convey strength and belief that I haven’t come across in a long time. I think anyone could benefit from giving this book a read. Additionally anyone that has been through trauma either verbally or physically could find strength through this book and really revel in the power and potency of the words that the author throws back at the people that have caused the pain. For any reader wanting a little more clarity, or something very different to read, or even just fancies digging into the wonderful words of Brayl then go and get a copy now and let me know what you think!