hits counter Dark When it Gets Dark - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Dark When it Gets Dark

Availability: Ready to download

Yves Olade’s lyrical prowess is apparent in Dark When It Gets Dark—a brooding and atmospheric series of poems filled with longing, the slow heart of desire and big silences. A must read. —N.L.SHOMPOLE Yves Olade on Dark When It Gets Dark— is about desire, about gentleness and grief. The poems think in colors, in shapes, in moods. The collection also speaks to something of h Yves Olade’s lyrical prowess is apparent in Dark When It Gets Dark—a brooding and atmospheric series of poems filled with longing, the slow heart of desire and big silences. A must read. —N.L.SHOMPOLE Yves Olade on Dark When It Gets Dark— is about desire, about gentleness and grief. The poems think in colors, in shapes, in moods. The collection also speaks to something of honesty, of truth, to the absence of duplicity. What would it mean for something to just be what it was, and nothing else? What if a storm is just a storm, and nothing else? What if it's finally dark when it gets dark? 2020 KINGDOMS IN THE WILD POETRY PRIZE WINNER: YVES OLADE is an ancient history graduate and insomniac who lives on the south coast of England. He's been featured in Kingdoms in the Wild, Glass, The Ellis Review, and the Rising Phoenix Review. He recently became a runner up in the What Are Birds? Transpoetics prize. An avid documentary fan, he loves mobile games, evenings & lemonade. He self-published two chapbooks called Bloodsport (2017) and Slaughterhouse (2020).


Compare

Yves Olade’s lyrical prowess is apparent in Dark When It Gets Dark—a brooding and atmospheric series of poems filled with longing, the slow heart of desire and big silences. A must read. —N.L.SHOMPOLE Yves Olade on Dark When It Gets Dark— is about desire, about gentleness and grief. The poems think in colors, in shapes, in moods. The collection also speaks to something of h Yves Olade’s lyrical prowess is apparent in Dark When It Gets Dark—a brooding and atmospheric series of poems filled with longing, the slow heart of desire and big silences. A must read. —N.L.SHOMPOLE Yves Olade on Dark When It Gets Dark— is about desire, about gentleness and grief. The poems think in colors, in shapes, in moods. The collection also speaks to something of honesty, of truth, to the absence of duplicity. What would it mean for something to just be what it was, and nothing else? What if a storm is just a storm, and nothing else? What if it's finally dark when it gets dark? 2020 KINGDOMS IN THE WILD POETRY PRIZE WINNER: YVES OLADE is an ancient history graduate and insomniac who lives on the south coast of England. He's been featured in Kingdoms in the Wild, Glass, The Ellis Review, and the Rising Phoenix Review. He recently became a runner up in the What Are Birds? Transpoetics prize. An avid documentary fan, he loves mobile games, evenings & lemonade. He self-published two chapbooks called Bloodsport (2017) and Slaughterhouse (2020).

30 review for Dark When it Gets Dark

  1. 4 out of 5

    Atri

    SYMPTOM The remedy for pain is always more pain. There’s a logic in that. The way the radio plays that old song to remind you of autumn. It takes you back. How memory makes everything worse. That August. Everything red and still on fire, and what you held came apart in your hands. The rest of the story still catches in your mouth. How it's always too soon. How you never open up. Time has its own axis, turning out of joint. Things come around on their own. Or they don’t. And nothing lasts forever, after al SYMPTOM The remedy for pain is always more pain. There’s a logic in that. The way the radio plays that old song to remind you of autumn. It takes you back. How memory makes everything worse. That August. Everything red and still on fire, and what you held came apart in your hands. The rest of the story still catches in your mouth. How it's always too soon. How you never open up. Time has its own axis, turning out of joint. Things come around on their own. Or they don’t. And nothing lasts forever, after all. Yves Olade is a powerful emerging poetic voice, engaging vehemently with the social unrest and political conditions in postcolonial Nigeria. In this prizewinning chapbook Dark When it Gets Dark Olade's multifaceted intricate aesthetics is revealed through the vivid imagery end experimental forms in his poems. He juxtaposes a Christian ethos with a revolutionary zeal embedded within a materialist discourse. His preoccupation with the body foregrounds the stark reality of the violence inflicted upon it, as well the undeniable temptation to transcend it with the force of the immutable spirit - an act of resistance through art. LAGOS WINTER In the year of my mother’s tongue & of my father's right hand see memory rain from heaven like a shower of bullets hear the tear gas sing LAGOS WINTER II A cut that takes the lover, but saves no child. A cut gentle & perfect as Lagos by moonlight. Who stops the mosquito from piercing any chest? O wind, O witness. Say bullet hole say heart-wound. Say, God, forgive them they know not what they are doing. & still, in the night, hear us sing into the darkness & dance into the hunger of the earth this wild & jealous earth we call our country. Nigeria has been mired in riots and brutal repression this year. The police opened fire on hundreds of unarmed protesters in Lagos, boycotting the draconian SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) which has been involved in extra-judicial executions and corruption. Olade expresses the afflictions plaguing his country and the naked searing pain with a grotesque realism that denudes the intensity of remorseless violence. DÉSOLÉ what creature are you becoming? clawing your skin to ribbons? eating your own hunger? begging your blood back into his hands? body in the river, body in the lake. body in the water tells you autumn is over. say winter, say fall. gentle as his hands around your throat. perfect as the red fruit, bruising between itself and the floor. He experiments with a staccato rhythm, a form that speaks as much as the content TRAUMA GUIDE TO GUNSHOT WOUNDS absolution · in exchange · for doing · unto others · what they · have done · unto you · but violence · is built · to be wider · always · on the other side · sing elegies · to the exit wound · but pain · is still · the shortest distance · between · two bodies · is still · the only ghost · between the human · and divine · I perceive the influence of Ocean Vuong and to some extent Ilya Kaminsky in Olade's poetry. Violence is never far from eroticism, and a bleak despair casts a shroud on a fragile faith - of an ephemeral hope enamoured by irreconcilable distances. PANORAMA OF A DREAM This, the distance. From body through to body. From grief to new grief. The sun in August. The sun in autumn. Heart of despair, burning on the porch. House at midnight, house at dawn. Staircase red with fear. Staircase blue with longing. Say killing, say kindness. From room to room, from morning through to morning My heartfelt gratitude to Kingdoms in the Wild for the ARC of this splendid chapbook.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    Time has its own axis, turning out of joint. Things come around on their own. Or they don’t. And nothing lasts forever, after all. This collection is one of wounds and ampersands. The former are bullet holes, bruises and the whelps of despair. The latter populate the strange line structure, they lend to a possible music, but the images themselves are rather basic. There's little heat and certainly no heft. There's a parenthetical eroticism but it remains as unspoken as what passes for landscapes, o Time has its own axis, turning out of joint. Things come around on their own. Or they don’t. And nothing lasts forever, after all. This collection is one of wounds and ampersands. The former are bullet holes, bruises and the whelps of despair. The latter populate the strange line structure, they lend to a possible music, but the images themselves are rather basic. There's little heat and certainly no heft. There's a parenthetical eroticism but it remains as unspoken as what passes for landscapes, ones which are depicted as either red or blue. I was disappointed. Monochromatic reality should have a defining character. Thanks to Kingdom in the Wild press for the ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    rosalind

    271120: shoutout to Lydia & Kingdoms in the Wild Press for providing me with an arc of this! rtc sometime this weekend 281120: like most collections, somewhat uneven, but also like most collections, there are a couple of gems. the standout poems for me were “lagos winter,” “trauma guide to gunshot wounds,” and “eden.” there's some lovely language in this—have an excerpt from "lagos winter ii", par example: In the year of my body of my body's own bones of my bones' own marrow— see the sun set the st 271120: shoutout to Lydia & Kingdoms in the Wild Press for providing me with an arc of this! rtc sometime this weekend 281120: like most collections, somewhat uneven, but also like most collections, there are a couple of gems. the standout poems for me were “lagos winter,” “trauma guide to gunshot wounds,” and “eden.” there's some lovely language in this—have an excerpt from "lagos winter ii", par example: In the year of my body of my body's own bones of my bones' own marrow— see the sun set the stained glass alight there's some interesting stuff going on formally, too—olade definitely takes advantage of the field of the page; though not always entirely successful, it's still interesting and visually arresting. especially of note wrt form are both "trauma guide" poems. also, i'm a hoe for an aesthetic ampersand! interested to see where olade goes from here with his poetry.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anjanette Gile

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In "Dark When it Gets Dark", Yves Olade beautifully both works in abstracts and deeply grounded imagery as he constructs and deconstructs the terrors of desire through his memory. In the first pieces of the collection, "Lagos Winter" and "Lagos Winter II", he sets the stage for themes like Christianity and violence as well as imagery of nature and body while recounting years gone past from the recesses of his memory. In pieces like "Black Teeth", "Topography", and "Savage", Olade speaks more to In "Dark When it Gets Dark", Yves Olade beautifully both works in abstracts and deeply grounded imagery as he constructs and deconstructs the terrors of desire through his memory. In the first pieces of the collection, "Lagos Winter" and "Lagos Winter II", he sets the stage for themes like Christianity and violence as well as imagery of nature and body while recounting years gone past from the recesses of his memory. In pieces like "Black Teeth", "Topography", and "Savage", Olade speaks more to violence inflicted on the mind when suffering from the lows of desire, where one is filled with an emptiness that seems unfillable. "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds" recalls as Olade gets an answer to the call of desire, but in the most anguishing and painful way-in the form of the a lover that doesn't love. "Cut", "Samarra", "Panorama of a Dream", "Incision", and "Désolé" describe the lengths to which one goes to fill themselves when they're empty by taking any form of love given, even the ones that make the emptiness worse when left alone. "Eden" brings us to a more clear picture of the relationship in which Olade recognizes the power inequality that exists in the relationship, even calling his lover "God", but still being trapped in the relationship due to the desire to be loved. "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds II" and "Tempest" act as partners as Olade untangles how love hurts us in different ways. The former describes how being loved by another, even in a hurtful way, even by an evil person, can be better than letting them go. The latter describes how being loved by the same someone, in the same way, can also lead to the same conclusion where the feeling of emptiness never leaves, so it may be better to be alone. "Symptom (after Reyna N.A.)" concludes the collection in a beautiful way by reflecting on how we cope after trauma from relationships. How sometimes you just can't bring yourself to speak about it. How other times it just spills out in an uncontrollable and unwanted way. How you mentally reconfigure and reexplain memories in your head. How you continue to exist while having all these thoughts, feelings, and emotions in your head. The poem and the entirely of the collection ends with these words, which I think eloquently speak to the purpose and intent of the collection as a whole: "You think the remedy for pain is always more pain. This too, I think, is a symptom." Overall, I think that "Dark When it Gets Dark" is a beautifully constructed and evocative reflection on the darkness of desiring to be loved. *Thank you to Kingdoms in the Wild for sending me an ARC for review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kamila Kunda

    I got the slim collection of poems “Dark When It Gets Dark” by British Nigerian poet Yves Olade from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is the first time in my life I agreed to do it but the chapbook piqued my interest so I agreed. Olade himself says he looks for honesty and this is very much what I look for in literature and in particular in poetry. I don’t believe that poetry needs to be autobiographical but the rhythm of the poems must reflect the heartbeat of the author. Ola I got the slim collection of poems “Dark When It Gets Dark” by British Nigerian poet Yves Olade from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is the first time in my life I agreed to do it but the chapbook piqued my interest so I agreed. Olade himself says he looks for honesty and this is very much what I look for in literature and in particular in poetry. I don’t believe that poetry needs to be autobiographical but the rhythm of the poems must reflect the heartbeat of the author. Olade’s heartbeat is fast; I hear fury, grief, resentment in it. If heartbeat could taste, his would taste bitter and metallic. Olade’s poems are visceral and raw, they smell of blood and open wounds, of pain and exhaustion that come with the realisation of one’s self which is not always on accordance with how one wants to see oneself. The suffering, the loneliness are too much for one person so he invokes God, but does God listen and does he answer? The author, himself a graduate of ancient history, reminds me here of Greek gods crying for Zeus for help and rescue. I can’t deny that Olade’s poems are intense and filled with longing for what was and was not, for what could be, filled with the desire to undo certain events or words which are merely suggested. However, what I am looking for as well in poetry, besides honesty, is a reflection of the author’s journey, of growth. I failed to find it here. I had the impression that I was reading the same poem, depicting the same state of mind and body, only with words assembled in a different configuration. He himself said in an interview: “Honestly, I tend to conceptualize my work less as a series of poems and more as the same poem, written over and over again in different ways.” I feel it would have been better to call “Dark When It Gets Dark” one long poem, only separated by chapters. It is done brilliantly in “Migritude” by Shailja Patel. I see a lot of potential in Olade. At the moment he spits out his pain, puts it on the palm of his hand and observes it. Hopefully in the next collection he will wade through pain and emerge from it on a path which will help him grow.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anahiz

    I absolutely loved this collection of poetry. After first flipping through the pages, I was immediately struck by the unique formatting of the poems. The first two poems, "Lagos Winter I" and "Lagos Winter II" immediately caught my attention due to their unique format, which are similar to that of erasure poems though they were not actually erasure poems. I was intrigued by the format of "Trauma Guide to Gun Wounds" and "Trauma Guide to Gun Wounds II" as different phrases in the poem are separat I absolutely loved this collection of poetry. After first flipping through the pages, I was immediately struck by the unique formatting of the poems. The first two poems, "Lagos Winter I" and "Lagos Winter II" immediately caught my attention due to their unique format, which are similar to that of erasure poems though they were not actually erasure poems. I was intrigued by the format of "Trauma Guide to Gun Wounds" and "Trauma Guide to Gun Wounds II" as different phrases in the poem are separated by dots, reminding me of a feature on Microsoft Word that puts little dots in between every word in a document. The little dots themselves also reminded me of gunshot wounds - holes in the page like the hole left in a person after they are shot. Throughout the collection, Olade uses repetition and interesting line breaks to keep the reader wanting to continue his poems. I also found it quite enjoyable how he seems to include two voices in his poems: the speaker and the second voice is either someone who talks to the speaker or what I believe to be the speaker's inner thoughts, signified by italics in each poem. Olade also cleverly connects the poems through various phrases and words and even colors, such as love, red, gold, blood, desire, hunger, and so on. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed "Dark When it Gets Dark" and I highly recommend it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Izzie

    ***Thank you to Kingdoms in the Wild team for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!*** The poetry ended right as I wanted to read more! My favorite poems were "Savage" & "Symptom" -- I'll definitely be coming back to re-read these many times in the future & reflect on my own writing style. This collection of poetry definitely took a couple re-reads for me to understand themes/messages being portrayed as well as allow myself to enjoy the words as they were. And personally as someone who has a r ***Thank you to Kingdoms in the Wild team for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!*** The poetry ended right as I wanted to read more! My favorite poems were "Savage" & "Symptom" -- I'll definitely be coming back to re-read these many times in the future & reflect on my own writing style. This collection of poetry definitely took a couple re-reads for me to understand themes/messages being portrayed as well as allow myself to enjoy the words as they were. And personally as someone who has a really toxic and complicated relationship with religion, the constant mentioning of God and other biblical references (although beautifully woven in) was not for me. Also, I think moreso related to accessibility/formatting rather than content -- the way certain poems were stylized did strain my eyes a bit and at times left me confused on where I had left off reading. It's definitely a personal preference for me to read poetry in "text only" versions if I am reading online. Some of my favorite quotes: "...say kindness. perhaps this too is violence. & so is absence & so is emptiness." "The remedy for pain is always more pain." "Say something true and mean it. Watch the world tilt on its axis. -- This is what the story is for."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Thanks so much to Lydia and Kingdoms in the Wild for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This brief collection of poems by Yves Olade is a beautiful swirl of blue, red, and black, breathtaking as punch to the gut but stilling as a weighted blanket. These poems connected with my own grief and sense of loss but also delved deeper into family history, abusive relationships, and searching for a future, or maybe just the path ahead. At first read through, what stands out is the Thanks so much to Lydia and Kingdoms in the Wild for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This brief collection of poems by Yves Olade is a beautiful swirl of blue, red, and black, breathtaking as punch to the gut but stilling as a weighted blanket. These poems connected with my own grief and sense of loss but also delved deeper into family history, abusive relationships, and searching for a future, or maybe just the path ahead. At first read through, what stands out is the pain, which jumps off the page instantly in "Lagos Winter" and "Lagos Winter II" and continues all the way through the final words of the collection, finishing "You think the remedy for pain is more pain./This too, I think, is a symptom." On second read through, the connecting imagery in the poems became clearer, with Olade reaching deeply into Christianity, blood, rivers and water, seasons, and hunger, deftly mixing all together. This collection grabbed me by the collar and refused to let me look away, and after reading through again, even the poems that initially hadn't resonated with me were strengthened by their ties to the same imagery with other poems. Gorgeous and painful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I've been reading and rereading this book all month now and I'm finally ready to talk to you about it. The publishers liked my review of Emily Skaja's Brute (which looking back is pretty short and sweet) and sent me this collection in exchange for a review--with no parameters. If I didn't like it, I swear I would have told you, albeit gently. Fortunately that's not the case. I will say this is not a collection for the faint of heart. It's dark, full of wounds and abusive imagery, full of pain and I've been reading and rereading this book all month now and I'm finally ready to talk to you about it. The publishers liked my review of Emily Skaja's Brute (which looking back is pretty short and sweet) and sent me this collection in exchange for a review--with no parameters. If I didn't like it, I swear I would have told you, albeit gently. Fortunately that's not the case. I will say this is not a collection for the faint of heart. It's dark, full of wounds and abusive imagery, full of pain and longing and painful longing. It was hard not to read these poems as all connected, as all moments in the same speaker's questioning life--it reads a bit like a book of vignettes, like "House on Mango Street" or something along those lines, where the chronology isn't always clear but there's a through line of emotion and presence. This is what I came away with, thinking of the speaker as always the same person: this speaker only knows how to experience love as abuse; this speaker aches to be hurt by others as then it knows it is noticed, hated, loved, present. It hurts worse to be absent. This speaker is constantly seeking to be filled--with food, with love, with God's presence. This speaker aches with hunger. This speaker is sometimes sure of themselves ("I was born hungry enough") and sometimes not. This speaker is always answering the question "Who could love you now?" and asking for new wounds. There is a sense of desperation and seeking here, and a sense of wishing they could come to peace with it. The speaker feels the need to self sacrifice and then asks for absolution. There is a lot of religious imagery; a lot of pain and wound imagery; a lot of craving, longing, yearning, aching. Here are a couple of quotes: "but pain * is still * the shortest distance * between * two bodies." "You think the remedy for pain is always more pain. This too is a symptom." "each body * sings it own * song * sings agony * sings grief * a memory * a promise * that what * cruelty * puts in * to you * it will somehow * take out * again." This was an intense read, but one I was really engaged with. It was interesting to be reading this here and now, during Advent 2020, when we are all trying so desperately to have hope, to find a way out of this gnawing emptiness the pandemic has ushered in. Repeated themes in this collection (other than pain): seasons, water, hands, guns, religion (God / liturgy / prayer / hymns / confession / absolution), hunger and emptiness, red / blood / gold.

  10. 5 out of 5

    eindra lin

    what a collection! some good, some great, some thorough confusion but enjoyable enough to keep me along for the ride. the intermixing, inseparability of violence and grief and desire couldn't help but remind me of "Crush" by Richard Siken. the vagueness, atmospheric ambiguity, but also sharp preciseness that leaves just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to give you the satisfaction of an answer. wonderful. i also am SO weak for the play of visual space in some of his poems. i did try t what a collection! some good, some great, some thorough confusion but enjoyable enough to keep me along for the ride. the intermixing, inseparability of violence and grief and desire couldn't help but remind me of "Crush" by Richard Siken. the vagueness, atmospheric ambiguity, but also sharp preciseness that leaves just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to give you the satisfaction of an answer. wonderful. i also am SO weak for the play of visual space in some of his poems. i did try to sit there and wonder why Olade chose to separate certain phrases, create certain silhouettes in the negative space, and though it didn't seem clear to me all the time, i still liked the way he used the paper as a canvas. Olade also included quite a bit of Christian (i think Christian?? i'm not sure i am not religious at all lmao) imagery, transposed on to violent, anguish-filled imagery, which definitely added complexity and some very interesting juxtapositions. my only problem with this collection is the repetition of some words and ideas in nearly every poem, words like "darkness" and "blood" and "desire" etc. it works to paint such a vivid landscape, but i would have liked if there were new words or phrases to express the ideas Olade is trying to express. but other than that, i really enjoyed this; i fucking love atmospheric writing and imagery, and i absolutely love when seemingly opposite visceral emotions/experiences such as desire and grief, violence and love are artfully mingled to create a conflicting, yet so perfectly put together atmosphere. my favorite poems were "Lagos Winter", "Lagos Winter II", "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds", "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds II", and "Symptom"; "Lagos Winter II" and "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds" in particular were amazing, the wordplay, the imagery, their demands to be read more than once, stupendous indeed. i want to end with an excerpt from "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds" but i am having such a hard time choosing because the whole thing is so fucking good!! i like highlighting lines that i like especially, and i really just highlighted the whole poem lmao, but here are a few lines that i spent like 15 minutes trying to pick out from the rest: "how I · don’t even · taste · the blood · just felt the burn · going down · and how · it didn’t · mean a thing · it didn’t matter · at all · only proved that · like a bullet · confession can’t · be held · under the tongue · only fired · from the throat · into any body · kind enough · to take it whole · absolution · in exchange · for doing · unto others · what they · have done · unto you" i think yes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    kell_xavi

    There's a recklessness or contained chaos in these poems. Olade peels back layers and layers of darkness. The language forms an architecture of Lagos and human bodies twined with religious allusions, longing, dreams, and death. Two poems that moved me were "Lagos Winter" and its sequel, which grieve for family, neighbours, the blood of a country: some who lived; some who died/ some who swallowed/ ocean like a final meal, blessed/ the water over & over. Gold,/ in the empty street,/ gold, in the de There's a recklessness or contained chaos in these poems. Olade peels back layers and layers of darkness. The language forms an architecture of Lagos and human bodies twined with religious allusions, longing, dreams, and death. Two poems that moved me were "Lagos Winter" and its sequel, which grieve for family, neighbours, the blood of a country: some who lived; some who died/ some who swallowed/ ocean like a final meal, blessed/ the water over & over. Gold,/ in the empty street,/ gold, in the desperate night. even the crickets pray, cold hands/ held together,/ begging for one/ empty morning. No caskets: no sons/ no daughters/ floating in the river./ Singing hymns/ into the night,/ their palms turned up. Their bodies/ cold as ice. These two poems begin the collection with a broad scope that grows contracted and intimate in later poems. They introduce the presence of hunger and death; in later poems, this hunger grows to starvation, "savage" and begging; death is tied to desire, violence is confused with love. These poems reveal despair through speeches both unreliable and heavy with conviction: a/ lamb that will not bite/ the wolf was not/ born hungry enough. like a bullet - confession can't - be held - under the tongue - only fired - from the throat - into any body - kind enough - to take it whole - absolution - in exchange - for doing - onto other - what they - have done - onto you the blood - becoming - its own - sacrament - the body broken - into pieces - small - enough to - consume and - not enough - to satisfy The latter two excerpts are from "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds," which, with its sequel, were strong experiments with disjointed, trauma-stricken consciousness. There are a few poems toward the middle and end that reused similar ideas, similar phrases: bruising, violence, love as death, burying wrists, August. These felt like a catharsis, tension and release, but they became derivative. The final poem, "Symptom," seemed to me a muddling through rather than the passage to an ending. Olade has a rich style fashioned from earth, blood, and gold. I enjoyed the reading overall, but was disappointed that the collection lost tension in the second half.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marguerite

    Yves Olade's Dark When It Gets Dark seems tailor-made for a pandemic. The 15 poems in the collection are wrapped in gloom, daubed in blood and salted with broken glass and ashes. I read these silently and aloud. The latter is more effective at emphasizing wordplay. But doing that also demonstrates how much repetition there is in the work. There's darkness, rivers, blood and blades or bullets on page after page. I wanted different words to add shading, dimension. There's eroticism, but it's mixed Yves Olade's Dark When It Gets Dark seems tailor-made for a pandemic. The 15 poems in the collection are wrapped in gloom, daubed in blood and salted with broken glass and ashes. I read these silently and aloud. The latter is more effective at emphasizing wordplay. But doing that also demonstrates how much repetition there is in the work. There's darkness, rivers, blood and blades or bullets on page after page. I wanted different words to add shading, dimension. There's eroticism, but it's mixed with pain, even sodomy turned sacrament. Olade's work tends to be pell-mell, a flash flood of words. It's up to the reader to discover structure, which is why recitation seems to be effective. Religious imagery, hymns and prayerful invocations make regular appearances here. Among the poems, I preferred "Lagos Winter I," "Lagos Winter II," "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds" and "Symptom." This collection sent me in search of other poems from Olade. All told, they show promise. Some arresting word construction: "See memory rain from heaven like a shower of bullets hear the tear gas sing -- & speak the language of my fathers fore, some who lived; some who died, some who swallowed ocean like a final meal, blessed the water over & over." "Begging for one empty morning. No caskets: no sons, no daughters floating in the river. ... Hear the dirt cry out for a night with nothing to grieve, with no graves to dig." "Hold my head underwater, so sweet. Like you mean it, like you always meant to save me. Call it morning, call it mourning. Perfect as the slain faun. How we broke the skin of the water & called it holy." "You fold sorrow in on itself, until it's too small to do you any damage. ... Watch the world tilt on its axis. ... A lie is just a memory told in the wrong order." I received an advance review copy of Dark When it Gets Dark.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Renée Roehl

    O, what beautiful music lies in these poems. Refrains and motifs beautifully repeating throughout each piece weaving a gorgeous, violent, sorrowful tapestry. I suggest you read the poems aloud or you will miss out on the subtle cadences and drum beat rhythm. I enjoyed the structure of these poems which did them well in regards to the music mentioned above, punctuating those repeated words: swallow, hunger, grief, break/broke, mouth, empty, hands, body, autumn. The book is short and filled with e O, what beautiful music lies in these poems. Refrains and motifs beautifully repeating throughout each piece weaving a gorgeous, violent, sorrowful tapestry. I suggest you read the poems aloud or you will miss out on the subtle cadences and drum beat rhythm. I enjoyed the structure of these poems which did them well in regards to the music mentioned above, punctuating those repeated words: swallow, hunger, grief, break/broke, mouth, empty, hands, body, autumn. The book is short and filled with exquisite power, the power of love & violence intertwined, the confusion of religious indoctrination & the sacred, the dysfunctional cultural confusion of sex & love that wounds. There were many stand alone lines in all the poems giving sharp insights. From the last poem in the book which may be my favorite, 'Symptom': "...you fold sorrow in on itself, until it's too small to do any damage." "A lie is just a memory told in the wrong order." "Killing becoming kinder the longer you watch." "You think the remedy for pain is always more pain. This too I think is a symptom." I read the book twice trying to decipher which poems struck me the most; I could not as I kept changing what struck me. This slim book felt like one long poem to me, and it's a glorious gut-punching one. Highly recommend! ~I received an advance copy for "Dark When it Gets Dark" to write an honest review from Kingdoms in the Wild Press~

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Grappling with history and bodies in movement, this poetry collection by Yves Olade is reminiscent of the recent work of Eduardo C. Corral and Jake Skeets, tracking efforts to locate home in bodies and murmured recitations. As a collection, “Dark When It Gets Dark” assesses grim subject matter, but it is artful in tracking that passage away from categories of home, noting (as the introductorary poem “Lagos Winter” records) both “some who lived; some who died, / some who swallowed / ocean like a Grappling with history and bodies in movement, this poetry collection by Yves Olade is reminiscent of the recent work of Eduardo C. Corral and Jake Skeets, tracking efforts to locate home in bodies and murmured recitations. As a collection, “Dark When It Gets Dark” assesses grim subject matter, but it is artful in tracking that passage away from categories of home, noting (as the introductorary poem “Lagos Winter” records) both “some who lived; some who died, / some who swallowed / ocean like a final meal.” Olade’s phrasings draws on images of perseverance amidst pain, strength amidst suffering, and that conviction helps the lyricism of each poem nourish even when it explores the throes of a haunted hymn. What makes the collection—especially “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds,” “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds II,” and “Symptom”—stand out is Olade’s willingness to grapple with a will to avoid power rather than succumb to the degradation of it, drawing on ancient and Biblical antecedents as echoes for his own speaker’s struggles. This is a collection that knows of blood and hunting, desire and pain, but it is never simple or obvious in its turns of phrase or narrative pivots. I received an ARC copy for "Dark When it Gets Dark" in exchange for providing an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    ***I was given an advanced copy for "Dark When it Gets Dark" to provide an honest review.*** This collection of poems offers a journey through an unsettling landscape of language and rhythm. Olade tactfully tangles the reader in images of violence and injury by creating a sense of suffocation. In “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds”, the words literally suffocate the page; all space is used up by the rush and momentum of the poem. Olade takes risks with form; few of the poems look the same on the pag ***I was given an advanced copy for "Dark When it Gets Dark" to provide an honest review.*** This collection of poems offers a journey through an unsettling landscape of language and rhythm. Olade tactfully tangles the reader in images of violence and injury by creating a sense of suffocation. In “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds”, the words literally suffocate the page; all space is used up by the rush and momentum of the poem. Olade takes risks with form; few of the poems look the same on the page. The choice of having unique forms creates a disjointedness that adds to a deeper meaning to the collection as a whole. There is pain, hurt, and chaos and Olade grounds the reader in universal truths by focusing on the personal and the intimate. Since I read all of these poems aloud, I found the first ten were the strongest. However, in the final poems, the rhythm was not consistent with the whole collection. I feel this collection could have benefitted from these final poems having more flow and alignment. Notable poems: Lagos in Winter Lagos in Winter II Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds Incision

  16. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    I got the opportunity to read this early and I really enjoyed this collection. I’ve been trying to get more into poetry lately and this is one that I’ll definitely be recommending to my friends who are doing the same. The writing was just painfully beautiful but I also thought it was accessible to and would be appreciated by those that aren’t poetry experts (me included in that). He repeats a lot of phrases throughout the collection, but plays with the formatting which provides a lot of variety I got the opportunity to read this early and I really enjoyed this collection. I’ve been trying to get more into poetry lately and this is one that I’ll definitely be recommending to my friends who are doing the same. The writing was just painfully beautiful but I also thought it was accessible to and would be appreciated by those that aren’t poetry experts (me included in that). He repeats a lot of phrases throughout the collection, but plays with the formatting which provides a lot of variety visually as you read through. He writes about love but with a lot of underlying themes of religious shame, pain, and childhood trauma. My absolute favorite poem in the collection was Cut which starts with the line: “Now you need his love again, like it’s summer, and there’s blood by the river-bank.” And later with: “Like his mouth has made you with the sweetest violence, his hands the most holy ruin. You could pull the stars apart and still be gentle in the morning.” (Ugh so good!). Overall this was a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely plan to return to and recommend to those getting started in poetry reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    [thanks to Kingdoms in the Wild for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!] 3.5/5 i really enjoyed this one! olaude has a real gift for hard-hitting phrases--"even the crickets pray, cold hands / held together" in "Lagos Winter II," for example, or "pain · is still · the shortest distance · between · two bodies" in "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds." there's a distinct sense of layering in this book, at least for me; the poems build and continue from each other, with shared image [thanks to Kingdoms in the Wild for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!] 3.5/5 i really enjoyed this one! olaude has a real gift for hard-hitting phrases--"even the crickets pray, cold hands / held together" in "Lagos Winter II," for example, or "pain · is still · the shortest distance · between · two bodies" in "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds." there's a distinct sense of layering in this book, at least for me; the poems build and continue from each other, with shared images and refrains. most of the time this was a positive, but in a few places it felt more repetitive than reiterative. my favorite of the group was the (comparatively) long concluding poem, "symptom," which is absolutely gorgeous. second-person is always a little iffy for me (i think because it's my own default form of poetic address lmao this is no critique of anyone else) but it works so well in that poem in particular, where it gradually becomes clear that the "you" to whom the poem is addressed might just be its own speaker. overall--a genuine pleasure to read & one i'll probably return to!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Disclosure: I was given an electronic copy for review - but then bought my own in print, since I liked it so much. (Also appreciated the supplemental material in the print version.) There is such a loveliness to his lines and phrases, such beauty in how he writes about death and violence (which permeates this collection completely), making it all the more heart-rending. I was drawn in also by the changing structure and syntax of the poems, noting which poems seemed to relate to each other through Disclosure: I was given an electronic copy for review - but then bought my own in print, since I liked it so much. (Also appreciated the supplemental material in the print version.) There is such a loveliness to his lines and phrases, such beauty in how he writes about death and violence (which permeates this collection completely), making it all the more heart-rending. I was drawn in also by the changing structure and syntax of the poems, noting which poems seemed to relate to each other through that, and the use of absence, especially in those poems seemingly most about desire. As someone figuring out how to write about absence and intimate violence for myself, I appreciated these examples. Two other aspects of his language moved me. First was the use of the phrases "O" and "say", echoing throughout. Yes, tell the stories, speak, name everything! Then, related, was the way these poems call (to my ear) on the Psalms - in form (repetition, pull and sway of lines) and in their content of lament. So I am grateful for this collection, both as beautiful, moving poems in their own sake, and for the ways they move me to consider my own work.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie Coleman

    In these poems, British-Nigerian poet, Yves Olade seems to be riding a river where one bank is grief and the other is desire. The poems struck me as at once both visceral and disembodied. The language is imbued with oil, blood, water, milk and honey, a constant investigation of love and pain. Olade also seems to be interrogating this relationship: "you think the remedy for pain is always more pain. This too, I think, is a symptom." In places, he seems to be holding these themes a bit too tightly In these poems, British-Nigerian poet, Yves Olade seems to be riding a river where one bank is grief and the other is desire. The poems struck me as at once both visceral and disembodied. The language is imbued with oil, blood, water, milk and honey, a constant investigation of love and pain. Olade also seems to be interrogating this relationship: "you think the remedy for pain is always more pain. This too, I think, is a symptom." In places, he seems to be holding these themes a bit too tightly. In other places, his experimentation with form really pays off. In particular, I loved reading aloud the perfect staccato of "Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds II." The poems work best when aphorism and disclosure is mixed with imagery. This collection is worth your time. *A thank you to Kingdoms in the Wild who sent me an e-copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Antonio Delgado

    ‘Dark When it Gets Dark’ explores the experience of pain inflictive into the other’s body. In some instances, pain is staged as in a play in which the audience sees it from within and from the outside, without a way out. There is a hope that this dynamic humanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. Hence, the poetic voice changes from the one who experiences pain to the one who inflicts it, making difficult to distinguish from both of them even though the wound remains and speaks. After all, a ‘Dark When it Gets Dark’ explores the experience of pain inflictive into the other’s body. In some instances, pain is staged as in a play in which the audience sees it from within and from the outside, without a way out. There is a hope that this dynamic humanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. Hence, the poetic voice changes from the one who experiences pain to the one who inflicts it, making difficult to distinguish from both of them even though the wound remains and speaks. After all, and as the poet expresses, all is in the distance. One arrives when one already departs. The poet sounds like Kafka's Messiah, who will only arrive the he is no longer necessary. Such contradiction is carried on toward the last poem. This poetry collection ends with the irony that for one dealing with pain one always reaches more pain. In a way, such is the symptom of being alive.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    This is an intriguing collection of poetry. I’ve never read anything like it before. I think, though, that the description fits the collection well. One of my favorite poems was Lagos Winter. I loved the play with space… for example “Take your own life / in your own hands.” The play with ‘take your own life’ is really neat. I think the best two poems are Cut and Incision. There is some great imagery with those two. It reminded me a bit of Land Del Rey lyrics in Ultraviolence, which is one of my This is an intriguing collection of poetry. I’ve never read anything like it before. I think, though, that the description fits the collection well. One of my favorite poems was Lagos Winter. I loved the play with space… for example “Take your own life / in your own hands.” The play with ‘take your own life’ is really neat. I think the best two poems are Cut and Incision. There is some great imagery with those two. It reminded me a bit of Land Del Rey lyrics in Ultraviolence, which is one of my favorite songs. Ending with Symptom was a strong choice. I love how it began and ended. Beautiful. A few of the images seemed a little cliche, but overall, it was a solid collection. *I was given an arc of this collection from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I wasn’t sure about this collection for the first few poems, then “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds” punched me in the gut. From that point, these poems grab on and don’t let go. The images are so open and raw, it’s like looking straight into a still bleeding wound. And Olade will not let you look away. He keeps your face pressed in the blood until you share his pain. It is gorgeous and utterly heartbreaking poetry. Read this, yes, but do not plan to read this straight through. You will need to st I wasn’t sure about this collection for the first few poems, then “Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds” punched me in the gut. From that point, these poems grab on and don’t let go. The images are so open and raw, it’s like looking straight into a still bleeding wound. And Olade will not let you look away. He keeps your face pressed in the blood until you share his pain. It is gorgeous and utterly heartbreaking poetry. Read this, yes, but do not plan to read this straight through. You will need to step away from this to catch your breath. Because this poetry is so raw, I’m including a few content warnings. CW: Violence, Abuse, Cutting

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    In this brief collection of poems, Yves Olade gets into some dark and visceral material. There are references to intense, violent relationships and religious rituals and icons, entwining desire and danger. Olade is talented for sure, and I appreciate both his lyrical daring and approach to form. Many of the poems tread similar territory (on the positive side this gives the collection consistency, on the negative side some poems seem a bit too similar to call the collection really memorable). My In this brief collection of poems, Yves Olade gets into some dark and visceral material. There are references to intense, violent relationships and religious rituals and icons, entwining desire and danger. Olade is talented for sure, and I appreciate both his lyrical daring and approach to form. Many of the poems tread similar territory (on the positive side this gives the collection consistency, on the negative side some poems seem a bit too similar to call the collection really memorable). My favorites here include imagery in Lagos Winter and Lagos Winter II, and the interplay of themes and ambiguous parsing in Trauma Guide to Gunshot Wounds, ending with this killer line: the blood · becoming · its own · sacrament · the body broken · into pieces · small · enough to · consume and · not enough · to satisfy. Thank you to Kingdoms in the Wild for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I love when publishers do this and appreciate them reaching out!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fred Daly

    This is a chapbook, so it didn't require a huge investment of time. I was eager to read it because I've been looking for poets of color for my British lit class, and I found several here I could teach. If you want to read a poet who does a whole lot with form, this is your guy. I think my students will have lots to say. As I was reading, I felt that he was hitting the same notes a lot -- images of violence permeate the collection -- but then the last poem (also the longest) ties the whole collec This is a chapbook, so it didn't require a huge investment of time. I was eager to read it because I've been looking for poets of color for my British lit class, and I found several here I could teach. If you want to read a poet who does a whole lot with form, this is your guy. I think my students will have lots to say. As I was reading, I felt that he was hitting the same notes a lot -- images of violence permeate the collection -- but then the last poem (also the longest) ties the whole collection together in a really great way.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alycia (The Alchemist's Library)

    4.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kingdoms In

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kingdoms In

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.