Maybe this book of religious themed poetry was in the wrong hands. Generally I regard organized religion as a danger to the collective human psyche.
I strive to stay open minded though. When a friend asks, I accompany them to whatever church they attend. And when someone hands me a tract or leaflet or a flyer advertising my eternal damnation, I read it – just as I read the little book of poetry I’d been asked to review.
Music moves me, deeply and spiritually. The poetry of Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg or Maya Angelou moves me. Unfortunately, religious cliché does not.
The book “Free” by Midwest City poet Krystle Martin felt like reading I’d done a thousand times.
Its unmoving, religious cliché that demonstrates gods and religions as a fragile crutch to the otherwise emotionally crippled.
The book is 33 pages of woe and weakness against every aspect of the human condition, counterbalanced by relentless cheerleading to a god that in half the poems, inspires absolute beauty and enlightenment but in other poems has clearly not mended the heartaches and disappointments the poet claims to have been made free from.
“Free” as a title for this, feels like a thinly veiled delusion of the poet.
To the reader, the shackles clearly remain. They are made only more burdensome by praises to the poet’s god-like, “I am hiding behind your wing of protection,” and “you have broken my chains.”
The words suggest any strength within a person, anything that keeps one moving forward, is dependent upon a terribly delicate hope that the blind, fragile faith felt at that particular moment will always remain perfectly intact.
From the poems that wallow in self-pity and weakness and even the best line of the book, “I’ve had my fill of dirt, sand, lies and water,” show that such faith just can’t always remain so unshaken.
Every part of this book shows a brokenness of an individual who proclaims strength and hopes it will convince her that the strength is real.