This novel in verse tells the story of a narrator mourning the loss of their lover in the 2011 Tsunami that hit Japan. Through poetic fragments of memories, history, and ghosts, Dunic captures the narrator’s journey and how the supernatural informs Japanese culture.
Dunic’s book is something that you’re going to read again and again. Each time I reread it, I found new connections and layers. It is a mysterious, magical little book that shows how the ordinary and extraordinary are intertwined. And to top it off, the language is beautiful, haunting, and full of voice. I cannot recommend this book enough, to lovers of poetry, Asian culture, ghost stories, or well-crafted language.
A man in a cafe finding mysterious drawings, memories of a World War, mole people living under the Thames are just some of the things in this enigmatic, haunting chapbook. I thoroughly enjoyed every word, but it definitely is one that requires more than one read. It slips a gritty, underground Wonderland lens over London.
Worth mentioning, the publisher is BatCat Press, which is entirely run by high school students from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School who HAND MAKE every book. Check out their website because their books are BEAUTIFUL! And if Mole People is any indication, very high-quality work. Mole People says so much in every word. It’s somber, strange, and so moving.
The first poem in this collection suggests you might be better off going on a fun road trip instead of reading it. The following poems are filled with everything–Mondays, childhood memories, dijon mustard, thoughts on Hemingway and Carver, yellow dresses, and secret sex parties, and so many other things I cannot list them here.
Flak’s work really resonated with me as a relatively new writer. I often question if my poetry is beautiful/profound/clever/whatever enough. But as one of the reviewers said, “Finally, a poet who has no idea what poetry is.” Flak’s poems are funny, funky, and just fun. His work taught me that poetry is more than I think it is and encourages me to embrace my own voice and most importantly, just have fun.
I want to end this post with a small passage from Flak’s collection (And sorry Flak, WordPress won’t let me format your work properly). Feel free to share your favorite poetry in the comments.
Bernadette Mayer once wrote in one of her poems something / about how certain writers used to be called “candle / wasters”
I don’t know if that’s true
but if it is
I always want to be a candle waster
because I am a human fucking being
not a robot
and everybody’s got stuff to say
that only a blank page
to listen to
-“I love that one poem by Raymond Carver” by Kyle Flak