small textlarge text

Juliet Cook

Review of Matilda's Battle Waltz, published by Crisis Chronicles Press 2015
Poems by Tracie Morell - Illustrations by Kris Risto - Front cover art by Ken Paul Johnson

Matilda's Battle Waltz offers 60 pages worth of poems by Tracie Morell, each preceded by illustrations by Kris Risto. The poems encounter different stories about life's difficulties, unfair disadvantages, ongoing challenges and how in this world can everyone rise up from the monetary and physical and emotional pressures that seem to form an ongoing onslaught of abuse and misuse and disappointment.

Entrenched by "the offspring of Cruelty // & Despair", the people who don't truly care about others and the people who use others for their own gain to the extent that those people who have true feelings and who actually do care about more than just themselves often don't know what to do or how to live through this.

Sometimes they remain alone to stay away from the ongoing challenges.

Sometimes they drink themselves into oblivion.

Sometimes they cut themselves.

Sometimes they give in to the status quo rat trap in order to make money to feed themselves.

Sometimes they give their broken down minds to the wrong people for the wrong reasons and succumb to the stupidity of standardized desires.

Sometimes they give their own flesh and/or fake it, because it feels as if true love will get them nowhere anyway.

Sometimes female body parts are another part of shallow, fake, money-based corporate culture.

"...She doesn't like how she looks

with a bust two cup sizes bigger than she is,
but the bigger the tits, the bigger the tips.
Men are enchanted by silly illusions, & so
fork over bills for a glimpse at a cleavage
created by a massive foam bra..."

(from "Imperial Tears of a Good Choklat Stout")

• • •

What are you supposed to do if you hate all the fakery and abuse? Just look away? Bow down? Deviate and be further abused?

"...Matilda tries to

contain the oozing from her etched neck.
Possessed by her mounting history

of abuse, the little girl doesn't know
who she is. At times, she doesn't know

what she's doing..."

(from "Matilda Needs a Different Day Job")

• • •

Matilda's ongoing characters are riddled by different perceptions of oneself, within one's own space, one's own strengths and weaknesses, and one's own flaws.

Perceptions of others in bars, at schools, in other environments.

Perceptions of the unhappy, unfair corruption and seemingly uncorrectable downsides of existence that are often just ignored or taken advantage of by the more privileged types."

"...No one wants to know
such things, but there you are:
seedless and hollow ..."

(from "The Fine Line of Beautiful Living")

• • •

Matilda sometimes tries to find small beauties in the midst of the challenging travails of life, but sometimes even that seems impossible. What are you supposed to do to counteract certain kinds of difficulties that take place in environment after environment that you can't control or change or differentiate from or make a positive difference against?

Judgment Under the Nickel:
Matilda Is Suspicious of Universal Truth

Maybe you all stay so fucking stupid
because you know

once you learn shit
it cannot be undone. You cannot not see

the five year old boy crying, pleading: Plll-e-
e-e-lease, let me stay here. I love you, Miss

Matilda. I don't wanna go home.
Choking back your own

bleeding  heart,  you put him on
the boss because

school  is over & everyone has
to go. Five bloody welts

along his neck the following
day. His entire collar red. Just

last week, you caught him touching
a little girl, putting a pencil in her

vagina. Could be you don't know
what the fuck to do with that.

• • •

Matilda's Battle Waltz can be purchased from Crisis Chronicles Press.

➥ Juliet Cook Bio

➥ Tracie Morell Bio