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Insights Out Paperback – December 28, 2016
About the Author
Quick with a smile, a boisterous laugh and a light heart, Julian DeVoe is an advocate for consciousness, bliss and thriving health. He has written course content for health and wellness, blogs on various topics and has a smashing approach to poetry. When not writing, he works in the Sacred Valley of Peru teaching yoga, offering bodywork and exploring consciousness through a shamanic lens. This man is making his first offering to the literary world by outing his insights. He is someone to be followed for sure.
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This collection of seventy-seven poems, or “word experiments” as the author calls them in his subtitle, are divided between the mystical, the examinatory, and the frivolous. The first category of poems comprises reflections influenced by the author’s practice of yoga and Eastern spirituality, and deal with God, the self, reality, and other such philosophical concepts. Broadly speaking, I was not the ideal target audience for these poems, but concede that they might inspire more sympathetic readers. The middle category, which resonated the strongest with me personally, encompasses poems that take a second look at seemingly familiar concepts – peace/war, poetry, food, and so on – and causes the reader to come away with a new understanding of what was reflected upon. The final category includes poems about such matters as sidewalk falls, all-consuming erotic desire for cupcakes, and proper toilet-sitting posture. The poems in this category bore strong echoes of the work of Shel Silverstein (who is referenced in this collection) and were fairly crass, yet undeniably amusing. DeVoe has included a generous helping of potty humor in this collection, which will no doubt engender different reactions in different readers. But across all three categories, DeVoe demonstrates a love of language and a true facility with its sounds and rhythms. Startling clusters of rhymes abound, and certain pieces almost demand oral recitation, “slam-style.” In his use of punctuation, DeVoe is also innovative, although at times this feels overly gimmicky.
This remarkable collection was released by CreateSpace, a company that has earned mixed reviews from me in the past. In this instance, they have largely proved satisfactory, although their performance is not without flaws. The cover design and layout is excellent, although the back cover contains no information about Mr. DeVoe. However, the tongue-in-cheek laudatory summary is apparently DeVoe’s own, and a picture is included, which is not standard practice for CreateSpace. Pictures – doodles rather – by the author are spread sporadically but purposefully though the work; they again remind the reader of Silverstein’s hand, but do not generally enhance the overall presentation. A handful of clear typesetting mistakes, including four on the back cover (and yes, even a volume displaying “little regard for letters, words, sentences, punctuation and grammar,” as the back cover proudly proclaims, can have clear mistakes) do not hamper the reader’s understanding or enjoyment of the poetry within. The price is in line with contemporary practice.
Readers of contemporary poetry, fans of Eastern spirituality and yoga, those who snicker at the word “poo,” and people who enjoy earnest reflection by way of language play (a diverse audience indeed!) will all appreciate this fresh release from Julian James DeVoe.