Review by Venus Davis
Book Review: Haunted Mind
Haunted Mind is Vanessa Maki’s fifth chapbook and it was self published in 2018. The book includes themes of self image and feelings of suicidal ideation. I believe the poem, ris-que, captures every aspect of the book. It includes the aspects of poor self image but the lyrical style of poetry immerses the reader in the imagery and mindset of the speaker.
sometimes i wish i could / hold a lighter up to my tongue / so i could feel unfiltered heat / without consequences / does that make me a bit too freaky for you?/ or is it the fact that i get thrilled by some disasters? /maybe that's it / i'm chaos with legs & arms & feet / i'm alarming like blood splatter / on the hardwood floor / in a white bath tub / against outdated wall paper / on your face / smeared all over your lips / & blood doesn't scare me / being too reserved does / not being risque enough / silencing desire / like it’s a secret lover / that hates being addressed only / behind closed doors
Since this collection is only fourteen pages long, I don’t want to spoil too much for potential readers. However, I will say the sharp tone Vanessa takes in many of these poems is what made this book so immersive for me as someone who struggles with mental illness amongst other things. For that reason, I will say that potential readers should be cautious in regards to content that may trigger them.
Venus Davis is a 20-year-old nonbinary writer from Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently a poetry reader for Random Sample Review. Venus is also working on writing a poetry chapbook inspired by astrology. Follow their twitter for more memes, rants, and the occasional poem: @venusbeanus.