Book Review – Rain For Under Watered Roses Like You And I

Rain For Under Watered Roses Like You And I by Tammy “Poe-it” Lopez is about 62 pieces of powerful poetry. The poetry collection is sewed around a conversation with a best friend. This best friend happens to be “You,” who has seen some of the worst stuff life has had to offer “Poe-it” like an alcohol addicted father.

I’ve heard Tammy perform her poetry. But would the book deliver the wordplay and emotional depth she shows on stage? The answer is foreshadowed by perusing the titles of her poems.

Her poems are more focused on the vulnerability, hurt and reconciliation surrounding men. But the poems that I enjoyed the most had broader themes like, “Letters from Hispaniola,” which deals with the narrator identifying her multi-layered self. She writes, “I remember Spain like it was yesterday,” the piece then travels through Hispaniola (the original name for the island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti) to acknowledge her African roots.

She used many forms of poetry to get her message across: a haiku in “The Haiku I never Used,” prose poetry in “Missing Peace,” “Insanity Lies Enlightenment,” and “Reign.” But most of her poems are written in free verse like “First Fall for Self,” “This Ain’t Me,” and “The Game of Life.” “Astral Projection” is one of her few poems that are less concrete and more metaphorical.  My favorite poem in this collection is, “High School Textbooks.” She used a textbook as a metaphor to turn to the right pages from bad situations:

“Page 56.

You look for love. In all the wrong places, it is right in front of you, see page 67.”

Being a self-published author myself, I’m aware of the diligence required to put out a quality piece of art. There are few if any self-published missed steps present. I only noticed the table of contents was off by a page from “Testing the Water.” However, she has formatted her poetry to create shape poems for example in, “Chlorophyll the Empty,” is organized as a tree like its first line, “girls like me grew up like trees,” adding another layer of art.

Disclaimer I know Tammy and I was acknowledged in her book. But I do think if you’re a fan of poetry or spoken words you won’t be disappointed. I recommend you check out Tammy’s body of work. Her words pop like jumping jacks from the pages to your ears.

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) is an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature candidate at SUNY Stony Brook, where he is working on Christine’s Dream – A Memoir of Love, Loss & Life. He is the author of  A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment and has been featured in The South Hampton Review. Find more of his work at www.rashaunjallen.com

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