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Love and Other Poems

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Alex Dimitrov’s third book, Love and Other Poems, is full of praise for the world we live in. Taking time, and specifically the months of the year as an overarching structure, Dimitrov elevates the every day and speaks directly to the reader as if the poem were a phone call or a text message. From the personal to the cosmos, the moon to New York City, NASA’s golden record Alex Dimitrov’s third book, Love and Other Poems, is full of praise for the world we live in. Taking time, and specifically the months of the year as an overarching structure, Dimitrov elevates the every day and speaks directly to the reader as if the poem were a phone call or a text message. From the personal to the cosmos, the moon to New York City, NASA’s golden record to the Ouija board, the speaker is convinced that love is “our best invention.” While he navigates darkness and fear, loneliness and guilt, Dimitrov doesn’t resist joy even in despair. There is a determined curiosity about who we are as people and a shameless interest in the idea of hope. These poems are obsessed with everything around us, even the terrible and fraught.


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Alex Dimitrov’s third book, Love and Other Poems, is full of praise for the world we live in. Taking time, and specifically the months of the year as an overarching structure, Dimitrov elevates the every day and speaks directly to the reader as if the poem were a phone call or a text message. From the personal to the cosmos, the moon to New York City, NASA’s golden record Alex Dimitrov’s third book, Love and Other Poems, is full of praise for the world we live in. Taking time, and specifically the months of the year as an overarching structure, Dimitrov elevates the every day and speaks directly to the reader as if the poem were a phone call or a text message. From the personal to the cosmos, the moon to New York City, NASA’s golden record to the Ouija board, the speaker is convinced that love is “our best invention.” While he navigates darkness and fear, loneliness and guilt, Dimitrov doesn’t resist joy even in despair. There is a determined curiosity about who we are as people and a shameless interest in the idea of hope. These poems are obsessed with everything around us, even the terrible and fraught.

30 review for Love and Other Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    To the people reading this poem, hello, I want you to know nothing bad will happen as long as you’re here…’ Stop everything you are doing, I have a poetry collection for you. Yes, you. That’s right, Alex Dimitrov’s third collection of poetry, Love and Other Poems is, in fact, part of that yearning you feel a need to fulfill. I’m not kidding, a few days ago I didn’t realize it was what I’ve been wanting all along but now here we are and I’m up late and drunk in order to tell you about it. Dimitrov is To the people reading this poem, hello, I want you to know nothing bad will happen as long as you’re here…’ Stop everything you are doing, I have a poetry collection for you. Yes, you. That’s right, Alex Dimitrov’s third collection of poetry, Love and Other Poems is, in fact, part of that yearning you feel a need to fulfill. I’m not kidding, a few days ago I didn’t realize it was what I’ve been wanting all along but now here we are and I’m up late and drunk in order to tell you about it. Dimitrov is brilliant and his words are so bittersweet and empowering in their cocktail of blissful imagery and lyricism. Ready? Drop everything and check this out. Winter Solstice Again it’s the longest night of the year. The city closer to a replica of movie sets. Its garish streets announcing what can not be measured: silence, who were in mirrors, neon in the gray. Three pigeons huddle under bar light. A couple argues in a diner while a server brings their checks. It’s unclear what history has done to them, or even the last five minutes. besides, who knows what to do with love? It may not make it through one cigarette. And it’s enough to kill you, how dark it is how cold we seem even in our own misery all while knowing we will miss this. We will miss this when it ends. Honestly people. I work for nobody and all my praise is free but open your wallets for Alex. These are poems that hit me so hard I want to take up smoking again. These are poems you read and know you’ve lived and even if you pretend you didn’t those moments seep back to you in their sexy nostalgia evening wear. ‘We will miss this when it ends, Dimitrov writes, and yea, we sure will. How even the dark times come back to us to remind us of the moments of joy and love that still managed to rise out of the bullshit we were drowning in. A swelling of hope in the retrospective. Because this collection presents a cacophony of images around love, regret, missed opportunities and disappointments, but shows you them as beautiful in their life-lived whole. Or as he says: ‘Despite all our work, even the worst of life has a place in memory.’ ‘The day I met you never ended for me,’ he write to concludes the poem LSD. There is a late Leonard Cohen song Did I Ever Love You? that reflects on a relationship and asks at the start of verse 2 ‘is it still raining back in November?’ as if begging to know that a beautiful moment now buried forever in the past still exists eternally somewhere in time and space (the choruses , which just repeat the verses in an upbeat tune conclude ‘its spring and its summer and its winter forever’ to affirm his plea). Dimitrov himself, as if confirming with Cohen, writes ‘I do want to tell you / It was always November there.’ This energy permeates Love and Other Poems, allowing those moments in the past to live eternal in our hearts despite the transitory nature of our existence. The opening poem concerns a sunset that he assures us is ‘over now’ but it has been immortalized to remind us to appreciate passing beauty. ‘Look at the sky’ he says at the end, ‘kiss everyone you can for sure.’ Regrets are just a placeholder for missed beauty. Life is passing us by every second, make the most of it and appreciate it while it is here, like a sunrise that will fade into darkness or a life that will similarly, inevitably fade. Embrace it all, even an ending because, as long as there is someone to remember ‘nothing ends’. ‘Without any without.’ Dimitrov has some of the most purely perfect one-liners and images its almost unbelievable. ‘The most personal moment of the day,’ ‘how balconies hold us,’ ‘The billboards are sexy and American,’ or even just brilliant titles such as ‘Places I’ve Contemplated Suicide or Sent Nudes From.’ Dimitrov manages to make a fully fledged poem, deep and refined, out of what would have been reduced to a singular quotable line as some twee emotion bait in lesser hands. Think of a beautiful one-liner but then make it a multi-line poem that drags the river for all the bodies of meaning while still having flawless one-liners in it’s architecture. BAM. You have an Alex Dimitrov poem and you are gonna sit with it all night long letting your inner thoughts boil over into life affirming tears that will drip into your half-finished beer as it nosedives towards room temperature. I dare you to open this book and walk away cold. You can’t. This is an emotional journey that will hit you where you least expect and you’ll rub your hurt and ask for another. And another after that. 1969 The summer everyone left for the moon even those yet to be born. And the dead who can’t vacation here but met us all there by the veil between worlds. The number one song in America was “In the Year 2525” because who has ever lived in the present when there’s so much of the future to continue without us. How the best lover won’t need to forgive you and surely take everything off your hands without having to ask, without knowing your name, no matter the number of times you married or didn’t, your favorite midnight movie, the cigarettes you couldn’t give up, wanting to kiss other people you shouldn’t and now to forever be kissed by the Earth. In the Earth. With the Earth. When we all briefly left it to look back on each other from above, shocked by how bright even our pain is running wildly beside us like an underground river. And whatever language is good for, a sign, a message left up there that reads: here men from the planet earth first set foot upon the moon july 1969, a.d. we came in peace for all mankind. Then returned to continue the war. Fuck me up, Alex Dimitrov. The juxtaposition of the closing two lines here in 1969 (the moon landing during the Vietnam War) are the sort that becomes legend. Not to mention the pairing of kisses we never gave with kissing the earth from our inevitable grave. Cue up that Vampire Weekend song about how ’there’s a lifetime/headstone right in front of you and everyone I know’ and lets all appreciate each other while we can. ‘People are being detained / and shot with out money,’ he reminds us in Impermanence, that people are not good to each other and this is sad. ‘The first ending. And knowing it would end’ he says, ‘the first disappointment.’ These are all things we must go through, must grow through, so why not love each other amidst all the sadness and sacrifice. ‘Even our cruelty towards one another. Will end, he writes a few lines later. If we all must die, if everything must end, why not stop and appreciate the way the sun sets between buildings (‘I’m gay / The sunset too is homosexual’) as our heartbeats number towards conclusion. Charles Bukowski once wrote ‘ We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! / That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't.’ That vibe resonates strongly within this collection and gives me hope. ‘Whatever was promised of pleasure Costs the body more than it has.’ There is an effervescence of glee and bittersweet joy that emits from the darkness and despair here, and we are all better for it. There is even a poem for every month of the year, so it’s handy to have around to read each one as we spin another solar round. I should also mention that beyond being utterly charming, this collection is often very funny, such as the moon waking him up in A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island and claiming he is ‘only the second poet / I’ve ever chosed to speak to personally.’ Also, I have nothing but endless love for anyone who ends a poem with the line ‘that’s performance art, you fucks.’ This is a really powerful and empowering collection that asks us to appreciate life even when it may seem difficult, and to appreciate ourselves as well. ‘I’m crazy and lonely,’ he confesses, ‘I’ve never been boring. / And believe it or not, I’m all I want.’ This is a truly lovely sentiment, and one that I’d like to learn to take to heart but also hope you all can as well. We are alive, it’s wild and hard and sad but I’d give my last breath if you all could truly fell you were ‘the center of all beauty.’ It’s been a rough time, life is tough, but hang in there, friends. This is a collection that will certainly help with that. It teaches us to embrace life and say ‘‘Yes then. To everything. / Even an ending. 5/5 More How again after months there is awe. The most personal moment of the day appears unannounced. People wear leather. People refuse to die. There are strangers who look like they could know your name. And the smell of a bar on a cold night, or the sound of traffic as it follows you home. Sirens. Parties. How balconies hold us. Whatever enough is, it hasn’t arrived. And on some dead afternoon when you’ll likely forget this, as you browse through the vintage again and again—there it is, what everyone’s given up just to stay here. Jewelled hairpins, scratched records, their fast youth. Everything they’ve given up to stay here and find more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yana

    I "discovered"Alex Dimitrov here. A foreign Goodreads friend gave this collection a very positive review, but I have to admit that my interest was provoked by Dimitrov's Bulgarian descend and the fact that I, another Bulgarian, have never heard of him. So I bought myself the Kindle edition and went through it for several days. I have to say, for me Dimitrov's strength is in his short poems. The longer ones, with some notable exceptions, and through still meaningful, lack the spontaneity and sharp I "discovered"Alex Dimitrov here. A foreign Goodreads friend gave this collection a very positive review, but I have to admit that my interest was provoked by Dimitrov's Bulgarian descend and the fact that I, another Bulgarian, have never heard of him. So I bought myself the Kindle edition and went through it for several days. I have to say, for me Dimitrov's strength is in his short poems. The longer ones, with some notable exceptions, and through still meaningful, lack the spontaneity and sharpness that impressed me. They read like an essay, which didn't bother me, but made me wonder if this was his intention... If it was, he accomplished it well. There is a certain quality to his writing that made it captivating to me, through my personal taste for poetry is usually very different. That is why I will refrain from giving a rating at this point - I want to see how I'll feel about those poems after some time passes. WINTER SOLSTICE Again it’s the longest night of the year. The city closer to a replica of movie sets. Its garish streets announcing what can not be measured: silence, who were in mirrors, neon in the gray. Three pigeons huddle under bar light. A couple argues in a diner while a server brings their checks. It’s unclear what history has done to them, or even the last five minutes. Besides, who knows what to do with love? It may not make it through one cigarette. And it’s enough to kill you, how dark it is how cold we seem even in our own misery all while knowing we will miss this. We will miss this when it ends. FOR THE CRITICS No, you never got me. No, I don't think that you ever did. When I walk into a bodega and buy cigarettes and ice cream, blueberries and Diet Coke, all so I can cry with real enthusiasm and with feeling, just as soon as I can make it home - that's called performance art. That's performance art, you fucks.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    2.5 or 3 stars maybe? There were some good lines and some of the short poems were pretty good, but I found overall I was just hoping for more? I enjoy the Astro Poets twitter of which Dimitrov is one half so wanted to give this a shot. I think free verse just isn't my cup of tea maybe? I really like poetry with rhythm that makes me want to recite it out loud, these didn't do that. A lot of them were also just very straightforward and I guess I wanted more metaphors and imagery in general. 2.5 or 3 stars maybe? There were some good lines and some of the short poems were pretty good, but I found overall I was just hoping for more? I enjoy the Astro Poets twitter of which Dimitrov is one half so wanted to give this a shot. I think free verse just isn't my cup of tea maybe? I really like poetry with rhythm that makes me want to recite it out loud, these didn't do that. A lot of them were also just very straightforward and I guess I wanted more metaphors and imagery in general.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Guth Spangler

    I follow Alex on Twitter. I love his poems. They are absolutely accessible and very beautiful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mercer Smith

    I read this book three times in a row. If you love New York, love or Sagittariuses this book is for you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Ranard

    Let's just say that tonight I leapt out of bed because I kept on thinking about a line from one of Dimitrov's poems and I had to find it & underline it because I did not or rather could not forget it under any circumstances. Also - what better way to begin a poem by saying, "I don't want to sound unreasonable/but I need to fall in love immediately." Let's just say that tonight I leapt out of bed because I kept on thinking about a line from one of Dimitrov's poems and I had to find it & underline it because I did not or rather could not forget it under any circumstances. Also - what better way to begin a poem by saying, "I don't want to sound unreasonable/but I need to fall in love immediately."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Brodene

    This is such a lovely collection of poems mostly about love that you are sure to love! There is plenty of crying as there should be, what’s love without tears after all? One of my absolute favorites in this book is “New York” which is a love letter about crying throughout the city in both happy and sad ways, and is just so good. They are really all so good - “A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island” is somehow hilarious and motivating and life-affirming all at once. Some of the poems This is such a lovely collection of poems mostly about love that you are sure to love! There is plenty of crying as there should be, what’s love without tears after all? One of my absolute favorites in this book is “New York” which is a love letter about crying throughout the city in both happy and sad ways, and is just so good. They are really all so good - “A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island” is somehow hilarious and motivating and life-affirming all at once. Some of the poems are based on months - time and the changing of seasons is a theme throughout - and “February” is quite breathtaking, it’s actually quite perfect, and I am going to read it every day this month upon awakening. There is “poem written in a cab” which Alex wrote only while riding in taxis and it is such a delight! As is his ongoing poem which never ends called “love” which he continues to post one line a day to every day on Twitter. Most of these poems leave you with a very satisfying sense of hopefulness - who doesn’t need this - a gentle urging to not give it up. To keep loving, despite. It’s such a great collection and I’m so happy to own it as one of my favorite things about poetry is returning to it again and again, and how it can speak to you in different ways in different times and different places. I’m so grateful to Alex for sharing this beautiful piece of work with the world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Prince Mendax

    nix pix

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shivani

    *3.5 The poetry in here is so unique to anything I've ever read, both in style and content. While reading I felt like each word, each sentence carried so much weight and despair. Each poem is so heavy and meaningful, maybe so philosophical that is goes over my head for a number of the poems. I've read some poems numerous times and then out loud to check if the words were coming out right and they actually made sense. The flow is just so different than other works, it's beautiful, yet hard to keep *3.5 The poetry in here is so unique to anything I've ever read, both in style and content. While reading I felt like each word, each sentence carried so much weight and despair. Each poem is so heavy and meaningful, maybe so philosophical that is goes over my head for a number of the poems. I've read some poems numerous times and then out loud to check if the words were coming out right and they actually made sense. The flow is just so different than other works, it's beautiful, yet hard to keep track of since it changes so frequently. I feel like this collection just embodied so much and so little at the same time. In a way it was a love letter to New York, in other ways I felt like the author was talking about his grief and just feelings. I think that's important to see in poetry sometimes because in grief, sometimes you just have to feel it instead of fixing it. The poem about crying resonated with me because I do am a pretty emotional person and find crying to be therapeutic. Two poems stood out to me the most: Love and Pale Blue Dot.  Love: If this poem was all that existed in this collection, I would not be upset about it one bit. I loved this poem with all my heart. I loved that it was a list of things, moments, places, and experiences to love. I loved that some of those things were literal, physical things, while some things were more philosophical or hypothetical.  Pale Blue Dot: This poem also gave me everything I wanted. It's almost as if Dimitrov's words form a bridge between the heaviness of his words and meanings and the simplicity of daily tasks that many do. It's kind of fascinating. I appreciate the rawness of his work the most.  Overall, I loved some parts of this collection, and the style as well at times, but it was a little difficult to get into since the flow was jagged (probably to emphasize the rawness). It just left me as a reader a little confused at times at what was being said. Besides that, I would still recommend checking this collection out because there's so much good substance. 

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara Shocks

    Overall, I really liked this collection and the voice! Favorite poems: "A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island," "August," "New Moon," "Weldon Kees," "Rehearsals for Utopia," "March," "Suddenly, Summer," and "Poem Written in a Cab" Overall, I really liked this collection and the voice! Favorite poems: "A True Account of Talking to the Moon at Fire Island," "August," "New Moon," "Weldon Kees," "Rehearsals for Utopia," "March," "Suddenly, Summer," and "Poem Written in a Cab"

  11. 5 out of 5

    Milos Jakovljevic

    "Love and Other Poems" is a gorgeous collection. I've read Dimitrov's first two books and this one is my favourite. Each poem is beautiful in its own way and evocative of the work of the great Frank O'Hara. Some of my favourites include "River Phoenix", "For the Critics", "June" and "Dark Matter". I find Dimitrov to be the voice of a generation. My generation. Here's Dark Matter -https://harvardreview.org/content/da "Love and Other Poems" is a gorgeous collection. I've read Dimitrov's first two books and this one is my favourite. Each poem is beautiful in its own way and evocative of the work of the great Frank O'Hara. Some of my favourites include "River Phoenix", "For the Critics", "June" and "Dark Matter". I find Dimitrov to be the voice of a generation. My generation. Here's Dark Matter -https://harvardreview.org/content/da

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    These are grand, growling poems. Haunted and haunting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Hard, and unusual for me to rate poetry less than 4 or 5 stars but I finished this feeling like the author was personal but never vulnerable; and reading it was like being on a first date with someone who really likes talking. I thought most of the poems were just okay. None of the language startled me, the way I often feel jolted at least once when reading poetry, either from something feeling especially true or because the language helps me see/understand something like it's been turned inside Hard, and unusual for me to rate poetry less than 4 or 5 stars but I finished this feeling like the author was personal but never vulnerable; and reading it was like being on a first date with someone who really likes talking. I thought most of the poems were just okay. None of the language startled me, the way I often feel jolted at least once when reading poetry, either from something feeling especially true or because the language helps me see/understand something like it's been turned inside out. Things were told more than described - which is a problem I understand having, but it's hard to have that be the driving force in a poem, I think. Maybe the poems take place too much in the brain and not enough in the stomach/guts enough for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    My new favorite book. I will re-read it many times.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vi

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamil

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  18. 4 out of 5

    JB

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andria

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chayce

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marie JC

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Peacock

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Melia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Pat

  25. 4 out of 5

    Blake Levario

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna Meister

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kays

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lowndes Commander

  29. 5 out of 5

    Violeta

  30. 5 out of 5

    Allison

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