Mark Ulyseas – Review of Fixing the Broken Nightingale by Richard James Allen

Profile Mark Ulyseas Live Encounters Poetry & Writing June 2017Download PDF Here

Poetic Aphorisms and Remembrances – Book review of Fixing the Broken Nightingale by Richard James Allen – by Mark Ulyseas 

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How does one review a book of poems by a veteran versatile artist? How does one find meaning in the innards of a Book covermini tome? And how does one read the messages coloured into words?

Fixing the Broken Nightingale by Richard James Allen is an anthology of poetic aphorisms and remembrances handpicked from the journey of the poet on the road to himself. The reader is  jostled between Natural Disasters, Unanswered Questions, Occasional Truths, Flickering Enlightenment, Scheme for Brightness and the Epilogue, Forgotten Nectar in the Sleeper’s Cave.

Attempting to place the poems in categories and with coherent explanations is like herding cats.

The trains of thought embedded in the poems seize the reader’s mind, turning it like the London Eye and offering a panoramic view of all that the poet wants us to see and feel.

Because between that moment and this
we may never see each other,
perhaps the best we can hope for
is to crowd our emotions
into old cinemas, watch them
flicker and dapple like lights
tossed from ancient projectors,
a little out of focus –
but we won’t mind, we’ll be tired,
and this will be sufficient
to entertain the audiences
of our sad dreams.

– To my mistress, from Two verses found, by a workman whose name is not recorded, in the bottom drawer of an antique desk in an abandoned villa overlooking the sea.

The Time Machine in the Old House sums it up and leaves the reader contemplating the angst and ecstasy of a wounded poet struggling to keep his head above the lines…lines that he is chained to and condemned to continue drawing into words till his last breath.

It’s a little frightening how the years have passed
And here we are in this same old bed.
We don’t seem to have aged at all
But the world has shifted around us.
I am a little afraid to get out
For fear of what I might find
When I put my feet upon the ground –
Who is sick and who is gone
And whatever else has changed.
At a certain point it seems safer
Just to keep on travelling.
Forward, ever forward, in our cocoon in our time ship in our coffin.

This is a book to read when journaling through the maze of the metaphysical world.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om


Ulyseas has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photographer. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. March 2016 saw the launch of its sister publication Live Encounters Poetry, which was relaunched as Live Encounters Poetry & Writing in March 2017. His is author of three books – RAINY: My Friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya: Anthology of Dystopian Lives, and, In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey.

© Mark Ulyseas

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