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Impersonal Verses Paperback – December 22, 2016
About the Author
Billy Mays III is a creator in many forms. As an artist, musician, facilitator, and entrepreneur, the namesake and only son of the well-known pitchman seeks to define himself through decidedly different paths than his late father while still paying tribute to his unique legacy. Since 2009, Billy III has been developing parallel creative projects including Infinite Third (his guitar-based cathartic ambient music), Mouth Council (a spontaneous group vocal-looping experience), Remember You Are Dreaming (an artistic media collective/cultural movement), and more recently, Memorycode (an atmospheric folk pop duo with his partner Annelise Sandberg). While each has its own direction and mission, they all seem to overlap just enough to demonstrate a balanced portfolio of raw and deeply-felt expression.
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Mays’ energy is at its best in universal themes tied to a mind in rhythm. He often pushes a poem forward through contemplative titles like "a human being is equal in proportion to a galaxy" or “'i was thinking about dream catchers,' she said." He’s further unpredictable in his use of the page. For example, he disperses brief verses, barely noticeable, on otherwise blank pages throughout the book. This has a way of slowing the reader, imparting tension, as if a musical rest in the otherwise narrative meditation of the book.
The central theme can be tied to a few lines found in his introductory poem, "we are all new people:"
“keep digging until the dig becomes a climb
keep listening until the noise becomes a silence
keep questioning until the questions become a knowing”
In this way, Mays’ poetry can be described as both confessional, as well as instructive. He frequently employs word play to convey these messages, as in:
“there is a whole in this dream
you are it.”
Mays rarely enters into extended metaphors or imagistic feats; rather, he explores an internal mindfulness with more abstract ideas of something like the blurred image:
“and just as a clock measures nothing
a mirror can only reflect what has already come to pass”
Throughout these conceptualizations, the reader has the opportunity to allow the text to rest with Sandberg’s Polluck-like paint splatter artwork. It’s an experiment in abstract ekphrasis, as well as an artistic manifestation of mindfulness. What any reader will take from “Impersonal Verses” is a reminder of the vastness of a conscious mind in the process of exploring the self in its relation to its time. Well worth the read.