A poignant collection that captures both the raw sorrows and joys of human existence…
Akinyemi weaves his exuberant latest collection of poems around the themes of depression and mental health problems. With candor and verve, he captures the pain of living with mental illness in “Mental,” as he writes: “How do I find healing in tranquility? / Without being judged through a blurry lens.” “Mood Swings” explores the protagonist’s struggle with maniac and depressive phases that relentlessly wreak havocs in their life. “Therapy” examines the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems. These poems are unforgiving in their portrayal of mental health sufferings (“Checkmate,” “Burning”), envy and bitterness (“Best Friends,” “Bitterness”), and violence (“A Single Story”); yet there is hope and self-awareness, a wish to get out of depression and do better, even if it feels like the odds are stacked against you (“No Pity,” Self-Doubt,” “My Girls,” and “Don’t Snap It yet”). In “People of the World,” the protagonist contemplates the futility of passing friendships and fleeting attachments. “Gone with the Wind” exudes melancholy as the protagonist remembers a long-dead friend. Crafted on similar lines, “Conversation with the Dead” is replete with longing. “Therapist in Need of Therapy” studies mental health professionals’ struggles with mental illnesses. The book’s title poem, “Everyday Don Kolomental” conveys resolve while maintaining a sort of crude optimism. The final poem, “The Tenth Chapter” is a congratulatory nod to self. Most poems suggest despair, sadness, and loneliness, that accompany depression, but moments of hope permeate others, making sure the overall mood never stays dark for long. This is an impressive addition to Akinyemi’s compelling body of work.
Everybody Don Kolomental
By Tolu’ A. Akinyemi
The Roaring Lion Newcastle
Pub date April 1, 2021
Price $3.00 (USD) Kindle edition