Title: Stupid Flowers
Author: Brice Maiurro
Genre: Prose poetry
Where I got the book: I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: ★★★★☆
Summary: A collection of personal but highly relatable poems dealing with the various anxieties, questions, and reflections concerning love, life, and death.
“life is so big
and i’m flying desperately
in chaotic patterns
landing in the same spot
over and again”
– “Several Thoughts on a Fly in my Bedroom Tonight” in Stupid Flowers, Brice Maiurro
This is a great collection of poetry from an interesting poet, written in a style that I actually like a lot more when it’s about topics like the ones dealt with here. I guess I’ll always be somewhat on the fence when it comes to prose poetry (which is, ironically, the kind of poetry I’ve read the most ever since I decided to pick up more poetry books). I’ve mentioned it before: I don’t need everything to rhyme perfectly but I do like a certain flow and rhythm to the poetry I read. Seemingly erratically written pieces with lots of line breaks just tend to lose me, which was one of the reasons I was a bit disappointed in Rupi Kaur’s “Milk and Honey“. It’s just personal taste. In this case however, I feel like the style nicely compliments the poems and what the majority of them are about.
“Stupid Flowers” is a collection that so many people can relate to on a deeper level, depending on where they are in life and what the outlook on their current personal situation is. Some of the recurring themes in this collection deals with the complexities of life and how to navigate through it, and the anxieties and confusion surrounding our mere existence. There are a lot of intense, direct, and no nonsense poems in here, but I feel like most of them, if not all, have this loosely philosophical and quirky angle to them. In a playful, often humorous way, Maiurro effortlessly draws on the strange, the surreal, and sometimes the intangible to create the most beautiful and magical imagery. At times you don’t even understand it right away but somehow it just grabs your attention and speaks to you nonetheless. I really enjoyed how many of the poems contain a kind of juxtaposition of the funny and the serious, as for example demonstrated in the poems “Mouseketeer” and “Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s”. Both of these poems point at something darker and more serious beneath the funny, borderline sarcastic surface, and this is an effect that is repeated throughout the collection. This was definitely my favorite thing about the book as a whole.
As mentioned, the style and structure compliments the poetry in this case. Some of the topics beg for a more erratic and irregular rhythm. The poems vary greatly in length, from only half a page long to covering several pages, and most of them follow the same style, although I do recall a couple of them being in the shape of a classic/traditional rhyming verse-form. While I was reading I also couldn’t help but think these poems would be amazing to perform. The line breaks, lack of capitalization and regular punctuation, and just the general flow made me associate this with spoken word poetry.
This is a small book consisting of 60-something poems, and like with most collections you tend to like certain pieces a little more or a little less than others. There were admittedly some poems that I couldn’t really get all that much out of, and others did tend to be on the lengthy and repetitive side and lost me a bit at the halfway mark. I would maybe also have liked to see the poems divided by topic to make a more cohesive impression, although I guess the existing order makes sense to a certain extent, at least towards the end.
Overall a beautiful, creative, and at times brilliantly written collection dealing with relatable topics that concern and interest most people. This is definitely worth checking out, both for poetry lovers and for those who are new to the genre.