I get a lot of books my way, what with the writing thing I do. I'm okay with this. Not every one is a winner, but the ones that are sometimes leave me at a loss for words. Other times, they force me to find the wordsI didn't realize I had.
Write a poem called "The Ghost You Left Behind".
That's what this one did. I Am Incomplete Without You: An Interactive Poetry Journal (Ulysses Press, 2016) is amazing in its complex simplicity. The gut punch inside is a surprise, but maybe I should have seen it coming. It's not every day you see a book cover minus the author byline. For this book, perhaps, that makes sense. This one is about the reader; You are the one the book is incomplete without. Author Ian S. Thomas knows that, and he's not about to steal the spotlight from us all. This speaks volumes.
Name all the things that you tear apart.
I've had the book for about a week now and have completed a few pages. I thought I'd do one a day, and then I thought I'd do the pages consecutively, but both plans changed as I flipped through the book to see what was in store for me. The poetry prompts are thought-provoking, introspective, and some are as easy as others are difficult to complete.
Imagine you are in an elevator with someone you might have been. What do you say to them?
The new plan is to open the book every day and scan the prompts to see what feels right that day. If I find myself flipping past the same prompts because I'm just not emotionally ready to go there, I don't mind. One day, I'll get to it.
Write down every word someone's used to hurt you. Tear this page out and throw it away.
Two prompts have wielded responses that have surprised me in that I didn't realize I had been waiting for someone to ask me these particular questions. I'll share them here.
The first: When lying next to someone at night, pretending to sleep. what are you thinking about?
The dishes I didn't do
The laundry not folded
The bills unpaid
How I could have
Next time be faster
How I have yet to teach her
to ride a bike without training wheels,
Wondering if this is something she'll
hate me for when she's lying in bed,
decades and tomorrows later, listening to
her lover snore while she pretends
to be asleep.
And this one: What does the pen ask of the paper when the paper just wants the pen to bleed?
The pen asks for no judgement,
for a place to give all of
itself without worry or fear.
The pen asks the paper to
to love unconditionally
Because the pen knows
(or thinks it knows) that it
can't be an easy thing to
when what is given is
messy and ugly and sad and
self-indulgent and never nearly funny and
relatable and beautiful.
The pen asks the paper to forgive,
because the in asking to be bled upon,
the paper absorbs the sins of
I am thrilled to be able to offer one copy of the number 1 new Amazon release I Am Incomplete Without You to one lucky Aspiring Mama reader. To enter, follow, tweet, and Raffelcopter will do the rest. Good luck!
Not So Fine Print: I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher for the purpose of this review. As always, my opinions are my own.