A marvelous mix of insights and profundity…
Froilan’s impressive, insightful collection of short poems shimmers with reflection, perception, and spiritual profundity. Self-doubt, insecurity, and the fear of failure and ridicule serve as the catalysts for the book’s underlying theme of empowerment. Froilan skillfully combines vulnerability and strength, and one of his most remarkable insights is trying to find positivity even in the most negative situation; he writes: “Rock bottom is a dead end,/ Nothing takes place there./ The only upside is it’s safe.” Themes of insecurity, self-doubt, failure permeate the pages, but that doesn’t prevent the collection to shimmer with optimism and hope. “Slow Death,” “Snubnosed,” and “Pay Dirt” deliver the inspiring message of finding courage in the face of failure and so do the uplifting and encouraging “Monuments” and “Lost and Found,” which are also sketched on similar lines. Vignettes of nostalgia and longing for an old love are rendered skillfully in “Ridges” as Froilan writes: “At times I desperately wish/ some scissors could cut/ the distance that stands between us./ Racial barriers,/ naysayers,/ Kilometers:” Moving and heartening “Pulse” is an ode to familial love. The poems in the collection embodies Froilan’s ability to translate struggles of everyday life, negativity as well as beauty and surprise that life has to offer into language. “Concrete Island ” celebrates small moments of leisure and unwinding whereas the inspiring and uplifting “Spine” applauds uniqueness. Stirring and thoughtful, the collection serves as a testament to life, inviting readers to learn to overcome negativity, and to aim, plan, and dream. This is a winner.
By Michael Froilan
Pub date February 14, 2021
Price $11.00 (USD) Paperback, $8.22 Kindle edition