I won this book on Goodreads, and was intrigued by the title. Who has the gall to so title a book, I wondered. After reading it, I know.
Here is the description from the back:
Sexually repressed, separated Greek girl on a rampage. There’s no love here, just fucks. But is she fucking him or fucking herself? Love and Fuck poems. A 52 page story told through poetry. No fluff, no birds and trees, just honest, raw, poetry.
I think to fully appreciate this little book of prose I need to assess the whole package, because it is meant as a work of art as a whole. As you can see it is just a simple bi-fold pamphlet. It reminds me of a church program, or maybe someone’s personal moleskine as much as an actual book. But, I believe this is purposeful. The preface states quite clearly that Dimitriadis wanted it self-published to make a statement about art and the publishing industry, which would be pointless if it wasn’t easily identifiable as not meant the mass market. I like this aggressively indie mentality, though I do feel it is a little compromised by the fact that it is being translated into Greek (and presumably published) by a Cypriot publisher. Why not make the same statement there?
The personal journal feel continues throughout the book. Like the hearts on the cover, there are a number of doodles throughout the book and even a handwritten poem. Dimitriadis’ handwriting looks just like my little sisters BTW. This sense of the personal is the perfect environment for the poetry too. It is deeply personal, and some of them are painful to read. There is no shortage of grit. Many of the women in them (I won’t be so presumptuous as to assume they are all Dimitriadis herself) feel damaged, displaced and very post modern. But there are unexpected tender moments that remind the reader to breathe.
I don’t know a lot about poetry. The back of the book has a number of accolades from other awarded poets, so I trust that those who do know about the art know a good one when they read it. All I can go by is my reactions to these poems. I found about half of them sublime and the rest I neither liked nor disliked. I’m glad to have had the chance to read them, and recommend Love and Fuck Poems for those who like in-your-face realism in their art. I’m a fantasy writer myself, so…