It's easy to hide inside fiction. We are inundated with genres and sub-genres, vampires and zombies, steam punk and alternative history. If a writer chooses to, he can move technology into an earlier era, create muscle out of skin and bones or conjure ghosts out of thin air. Summoning emotion out of truth and honesty, carving beauty out of tragedy, laying open your soul for the world to see and doing so in less than 100 words, that's a task for only the most courageous of writers. Meet Jessica Kristie. Dreaming in Darkness (Winter Goose Publishing, 2011) is a stunning collection of poetry and prose that chronicles the pain and anguish of loss that life often hands down. Jessica throws open her deepest emotions and lays them bare for all to witness. In "Almost Lover" she pines for a broken relationship:
"Here we are
My head in my hands
Blankets of forgiveness draping
In the wind,
While my 'sorry' gets lost in
Yet in "Message" she reaches out for a new love, whispers into a metaphorical bottle then throws her heart out to be caught by the wind as she sends a lover's wish to her soul mate:
"I dream within this bottle
And throw it out to sea
For in it holds the meaning
Of all you are to me"
As beautiful as her poetry can be, she does not shy away from tragedy. In "Re-Creation" she shows the courage to stand grave side and face the loss of a child:
"The seeds of my forever
Get pushed down
Six feet under."
Yet she tenderly implores the reader to stay with her and support her through her tragedy and anguish:
"Melt me down to fit the curve
Inside your arm
Mold me to be the vision
Your core wants to see
Bleed me to run
In the direction of your river"
As Dreaming of Darkness moves away from tragedy towards salvation, Jessica saves her finest lines for "Vines of Change" as she celebrates a new found love and the slow intertwining of two individuals:
"Creeping through me, like vines
In the sweetest of vineyards
Strings that weave their way
Through my world, and my life"
Jessica Kristie has the ability to soften and hone the edges of harsh reality and turn even the darkest of life's moments into beauty. Powerful, honest, evocative and achingly beautiful, Dreaming of Darkness is a stunning collection.
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