Image Credit: Jon Tyson
“In my head it always sounds better,” the speaker in Jonathan Bell’s self-published debut collection of poems, Hello, says. “Here, on mere parchment, the dimensions crumple what I see into clichés and paper tigers. I suppose I’m good at origami. It comes out raw and wrapped in red tape.”
The pieces in Hello are all prose poems, which cover many different themes, such as coming of age, faith, creativity. There are fairy tale references, as well as subtle nods to Tolkien. There is a decided emphasis on exhaustion with the current state of the world.
“In my head there’s an armory in the woods, but all you’ll find inside is a coffee cup with a few pens in it. I keep it locked up tight. I invite people to come and look around, but sometimes my hands fumble with the keys,” the speaker says. Overall, there’s a sense of hope–that there are still good things to be found.
Bell’s work is deeply creative, and shows great promise. Given that Bell is a high schooler, who is self-publishing, this 268-page tome is pretty impressive. I highly recommend a read! You can find Hello on Amazon, as well as the author’s website, (jonathanparkerbell.com ).