February 17, 2014

Review #10: Monsters in My Closet by Ruby Urlocker

Ruby is a gifted teenager. I really liked several of her poems, including Fear of Dying, Floating Downstream (which was like a fable story with a twist ending), Black Ocean, Sky and Sea, and Nowhere Land.   

Here are two of my favorites:

Fear of Dying   
Strange dwellers on this earth pretend 
They are content with emptiness, 
Though when they rise to meet their end 
They will not know the honest bliss 
That life has offered us.
Each human fills an empty space
Out of the fear of dying. 
Some are blind to their own face 
And spend all their years trying 
To live only half alive. 
Each choice we make
‘til our last breath 
Is only out of fear of death. 
To live in lies 
Or what is true, 
The choice is only up to you.

Sky and Sea
Yearning ruby sky above me, 
foaming, hungry waves below. 
Both sky and sea wait to swallow me, 
I know not where to go. 
Their hands cling tightly to my heart 
and to each string, rip me apart.
Light and darkness fight inside, 
I have nowhere to hide.

Deep for a teenager, right?

I wish the poem 'Outcasts'  had a different ending, but was still good. I will tell you why in a minute, but first let me share it with you:

We ignore the bright red arrows, 
We do not tread the one way streets, 
And now the world comes crashing down, The truth has fallen at our feet.

We are the outcasts, the proud and the scarred, 
We walk the path with bruises to guard 
And we dream that one day we will be free, that all 
who judged will finally see, 
And a voice will rise up, one we knew from the start, 
“We are who we are, we can not help our hearts!”

I have waited too long with my true face unseen, 
afraid of the gazes who know where I’ve been. 
I have pushed away a feeling, hoping it would come no longer,
But even though I try to hold it in, I feel it growing stronger.
And then I know what I really am and nothing could make me change, 
And so my love is shunned.

So why did I wish it had a different ending?  I wanted to identify with it more as a person who used to feel like an outcast but has grown out of that into someone too confident for all of that b.s.  I freaking rock, y'all.  However, I have to step back and realize Ruby is young and may not have experienced that yet, as it took me many years to feel it myself.  I hope one day she does realize she rocks no matter what society wants her to think.

I wish self-publishing had been around when I was a teenager so I could have done this with my own collection of poetry.  It may have given me enough of a push to have kept it up.  I feel like poetry came so much easier to me back then.  I hope Ruby keeps writing and that we will get the opportunity to experience more of her poems in the future.

Overall, I am very pleased to recommend this short collection of poetry.  Oh! And there are illustrations by the author included as well.

"I walked across the world today
In my old running shoes.
Because I was free on a Saturday
And wanted to beat the blues." -from Walking Across the World

"There's a gust of wind inside my throat," -from The Storm

"In my ear late at night, the moon's light is a weep
For pure joy in the darkness behind me." -from In Waiting

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