This Is What Love Looks Like

‘At its heart, this collection of writing is all about love, which we believe all readers can relate to and appreciate. Who among us has not fallen in or out of love, or longed for an unrequited love?’

So state the editors in the preface to

 

They are Candice Louisa Daquin and Hallelujah R. Huston.

There are so many very well written and insightful pieces in this anthology that I cannot mention them all. Examples will have to suffice.

The powerful impact and often sudden nature of sexual love is shown in ‘To Love Her’ by Jesica Nodarse and in ‘Out of the Blue’ by Emily Alice DeCicco.

The beautiful imagery displayed in Erin King’s ‘Dusk”, or ‘Your Hair Hangs Down’ from Charity M. Muse symbolises the beauty of love. The fear that often comes with committing wholeheartedly to another person is well tackled in ‘Bravery is doing it anyway’ by Avital Abraham. Most significant is the fear of loss, whether from betrayal, featured by Christine E. Ray in ‘An Exchange Quick and Quiet’; from death as in Maria Gary’s plaintive ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’; or simply fading away, as demonstrated by Rachael Ikins’ ‘Falling Toward Winter’

We all imagine that lost love will never come again. Sometimes it never will, and lasting separation will prompt the memories evoked by Tara Caribou  in ‘The Feathering Sleep’.

The Preface to this collection also states that love ‘transcends categories, labels, and clichés’ yet, that ‘these lesbian and bisexual voices are necessary in this predominantly heterosexual world.’ It is this that makes the book ground-breaking.

Coming to the realisation of one’s own orientation is sometimes as difficult as coming out to the world. A number of the contributing poets have tackled this issue. Marie Pritchard, in ‘My Way Home’ speaks of how long this may take.

Susan Heather K. McGraw shows us the reality of society’s condemnation and isolation in ‘The Well of Loneliness’. It is, however, in one’s own families that declaration of love’s direction can be most difficult. The secrecy that can exist within families is exemplified in ‘On Pompano Beach After My Father’s Funeral’, by Carolyn Martin, while denial is the theme of Talia Rizzo’s ‘This Poem Was Written To the Sound of Your Voice’, and Kirsten Fedorowicz’s ‘Family Reunion’.

To return to the Preface, ‘anyone who is open to appreciating love and poetry can gain as much from this collection of poems as a lesbian can.’

The sub-title is taken from the powerful ‘Karaoke Night with Lady Rose and Babe’ by Kindra M. Austin.

I have happily followed Candice Louisa Daquin on WordPress for a number of years, and compliment her and her colleagues on this publication, available on Amazon.

I spent much of the day drafting this review.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza and plentiful fresh salad with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Merlot 2017.