Title: Wrong Side of a Fistfight
Author: Ashe Vernon
Published On: July 2015
Publisher: Where Are You Press
My Rating: 5 Stars
A fearless voice shouting from east Texas, Ashe Vernon writes of fierce softness, queer love and identity, God and family. With a gift for delicate, violent imagery, Ashe invites us to lose ourselves in her world. Wrong Side of a Fistfight feels like getting lost in the woods, with someone holding your hand promising to guide you home. This is the second book of poems by Ashe Vernon, spoken word poet and author of the blog Late Night Corner Store.
So this was going to be a review but then I realized that poetry is… different than novels. Not quite sure how to review it, ya know. BUT I’m going to pretend like I do and see how it goes. So the title says Poetry Talk, but it’s really like a discussion/review/blabbering. It’s gonna be GOOD.
So while I love pretty words and metaphors and all that, poetry was never something I loved. Mostly because a lot of poetry takes a few reads and lots of contemplation before you really GET it. And I don’t like rereading. I hate it. Unless I’m absolutely in love with the book, odds are I will never ever ever reread a book.
I’ll talk about rereading, I’ll think about it, but I will likely never actually get around to doing it. There’s maaaybe a handful of books I’ve ever reread and that was a long time ago when I was unaware of all of the other amazing books in the world and had limited access to them (for various reasons, but mostly my own youthful ignorance) and those were dark times.
BUT anyways, let’s actually talk about the book (collection? IDK. Poetry confuses me).
I stumbled upon Ashe’s work about a year ago on Tumbr and I FELL IN LOVE. In fact, I’ve shared the poem of hers that really hooked me already on the blog, but y’all probably don’t remember or never read that post to begin with (not very many people did, and I was sad, but it happens. Oh well. *sobs*). So I’ll share it again, and whoever is interested can read it here.
GUESS WHAT. I’ve read that poem so many times. Like a lot. And I’ve read Wrong Side of a Fistfight three times. So that’s something. I’ve found that I really love spoken word poetry and slam poetry, and I like rereading it too. Especially Ashe’s work.
She uses a lot of metaphors and she hits home with a lot of the poems in her books, describing death and family and relationships, all of which are bound to resonate with her readers in one way or another. Ashe’s poems are beautiful and hard at the same time. If that makes any sense.
What I like most about her poetry is that it doesn’t seem to really follow strict rules like the poetry I’ve read in classes, and yet it’s still got that thing. What thing? IDK. That thing that makes you feel kind of understood and gives you lots of feelings about life and stuff. It just kind of moves you or makes you wonder. Maybe I’m just overly emotional when it comes to poetry and y’all have zero idea what I’m talking about. Oh well.
EITHER WAY, Ashe Vernon is incredibly talented and sometimes I stalk her blog and her twitter and just bask in her words because they are just so good.
I definitely recommend grabbing a copy of her book (or any of her other ones… I’ll talk about those soon too), or even checking out some of her audio recordings or youtube videos. While the poems themselves are incredible, hearing her read them aloud is even better. Like gives-you-goosebumps-and-makes-you-wanna-cry-or-punch-someone-in-the-ear kind of better.
She has such a strong voice, both on the page and in her videos, and you should definitely check her poetry out!
Here’s a video that I’ve been seeing on twitter. It’s a pretty powerful poem!
Also the ad that showed before this video was a dove commercial about owning your own beauty, and it’s worth watching too. Click here to see it!