The Place of Broken Things by Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti
Crystal Lake Publishing (July 2019)
88 pages; $11.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre
Let’s face it: No matter how little we may want to admit it, we’re all at least a bit broken. Something, somewhere in each of us shattered at some time or another. We’ve all felt displaced, alone, in the face of the feeling. The Place of Broken Things is centered around looking at those broken places both within us and without and about placing them in the world.
If you haven’t read poetry (or prose) by either Linda Addison or Alessandro Manzetti, then it’s worth warning you: They don’t write poems that are easy to digest. The imagery is intense and layered and dense as all get out. They are definitely poets who put more meaning into the words they leave behind than what is hinted at by those on the page. I had to read every poem in this collection at least twice before sense and meaning coalesced.
But, those with the patience to work through it will find themselves well-rewarded. These are gorgeous, sensuous and absolutely devastating poems that lay bare the gaps in our own psyches. Every word, every pause and every break is measured and weighed and wielded with grim purpose. Through it all there sits a gentle respect for the pain, completely lacking condescension, and the empty spaces where the scars never quite tightened sang through the lot.
Yes, The Place of Broken Things isn’t for everyone, but people familiar with “the declining wisps of false dreams, on the edge of ragged hope” (from the title poem) will find a necessary home here.