JoeyPinkney.com Book Review
The Confessional Heart of a Man
by The Greatest Poet Alive
3 out of 5 Stars
The Confessional Heart of a Man is the debut poetry collection from The Greatest Poet Alive (GPA). Leading this collection of lyrical introspection is an intensely lusty poem cryptically entitled “A Thousand Times”. The mixture of word forms an enchanting imagery of an infinite desire. With the second poem, “Even In Death”, I was reeled into the power of GPA as a wordsmith. I could visualize his view on love with a bone-chilling clarity. Instead of keeping that momentum rolling with something like “Love Letter” or “Death of a Love”, GPA caught me totally off guard with a crack high in black-and-white entitled “Anticipation of My Love”.
There are many subjects covered in The Confessional Heart of a Man. GPA touches on “baby momma drama”, serving time in the penitentiary, the “n-word” and many others. But GPA is at his best when he expands the possibilities of love and lust with his vivid imagination and control over a vast vocabulary. Even poems like “Stolen Moments” and “Metaphor” are intriguing in their approach to the otherwise mundane or socially wrong. In “Stolen Moments”, the way GPA phrases the adulterous sentiments of a man speaking to his mistress is a lyrically beautiful as any marital bliss. “Metaphor” meanders through metaphors to express uninhibited lust taken out of a female suitor.
Throughout The Confessional Heart of a Man, GPA proves that he is much more than an erotic hustler of prose. The book has four main themes: love/lust, relationship problems, incarceration and black power. He covers each easily. Poems like “Dedication” and “My Thoughts as a Woman” stood out in the crowd because they showed the depth of GPA’s intellectual muscle. His openly discusses the difficulties of relationships gone awry. His love/hate relationship with the “n-word” is just as expressive as his thoughts on black nationalism. He even sheds an unapologetic light on Black genocide at the hands of the police.
It is easy to tell that GPA is a spoken-word poet. The words are there, but I knew that there is a unique way that the poems are supposed to flow. It was like reading a rapper’s lyrics without hearing the song. I’ve had the opportunity of hearing him perform, so I knew reading and witnessing were two different things.
The Confessional Heart of a Man was hard to read because the word order he chose is easier to hear and understand during a performance, but that same word order is hard to read. All in all it is a good book of poetry by an established and intelligent poet that any poetry lover will find something to love.
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