Elemental by Tosha Michellle

The rip current consumes me.

Dragging me under in a rage,

I struggle against the tide.

Battling the demons of a water drenched mind.

Caught in a vortex of time,

Sun and dry land mock me.

I refuse to be destroyed by the elements.

My arms reach out to the trees.

Their branches sway toward me

But it’s not enough.

In desperation I turn to the earth.

The substance of life,

Hatred and failure taunt me.

With bloody hands and bruise knuckles.

I dig through a wasteland of hopelessness.

Wondering why God has forsaken me.

As the ground beneath continues to break,

I’m free falling into the labyrinth of chaos,

And underworld of isolation,

Night falls.

I lift my head to cry out.

Suddenly overcome by the beauty and magnitude of the stars.

I’m consumed by the will to live and be…

The struggle only amplifies my resolve.

Solace and hope are elemental.

An alive in me.

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The Escape of Malcolm Poe by Allison Burnett (Book review)

It had been ages since a novel kept me up all night, glued to the pages, marveling at a witty turn of phrase. Reading The Escape of Malcolm Poe s akin to devouring a spicy gourmet feast of a meal, enticingly good but surprisingly acerbic Allison Burnett paints a colorful yet dark picture of what it means to turn 50. Satirical to his core, Burnett is the God of smartasses and, paradoxically, the king of tender and lyrical prose. He brandishes a sword in one hand at each introduction to a new character while carrying roses in the other. At first you find the protagonist to be an arrogant, self-absorbed little twit, but by the end you discover a tender heart beating wildly under a guise of burlesque. Malcolm Poe is as endearing as he is infuriating. This novel is a visceral lesson in the drudgery, angst and the harrowing emotional transition that often comes with mid-life, a comedy and a tragedy, a book in which Burnett crafted a portrait so real that I sometime forgot I was reading a work of fiction. The Escape of Malcolm Poe is an experiment in literary innovation, flawless prose and delicious angst.

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