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'Til Death: Marriage Poems Paperback – January 26, 2017
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"I was expecting poems grim and terrifying, but to my surprise, Janice and James Leach serve portions of their experiences together - both dark and light - on a speculative plate. It is a simply excellent collection, blending both styles and perspectives perfectly." -Marge Simon, Naughty Ladies "...a voyeuristic journey into the heart and mysteries of a couple, impossible to turn away from or to put down."-Peter Adam Salomon, All Those Broken Angels "There is a phrase in one of their poems, the 'mad Poetry of listening, which stuck with me as the feeling I had the entire time I was reading this collection. There is a terrible beauty to their verses, like an unsettling mirror. Their words make you ache for something ephemeral and fleeting. Long to capture and hold it, if only for an instant, because you will know in that moment that everything was worth it." -Maurice Broaddus, Buffalo Soldier " 'Til Death is a darkly delightful banquet of poems about marital love in all its forms. By turns magic, domestic, mythic, and scientific, this slender book offers a feast for readers who enjoy excellent verse."-Lucy Snyder, While the Black Stars Burn "Romantic, yes, but with bite, a few shudders, and lots of sensual teasing...Buy two copies: one for yourself, one for the one you dream of." -Mary A. Turzillo, Nebula and Elgin winner, author of Bonsai Babies "Exemplary of two knotted lives twists, turns, secrets, and the monotony of wanting to be untied, untethered, but not exactly free... 'Til Death: Marriage Poems is that mind-space of falling in and out of love with your best friend, stranger, confidant, enemy, and lover as all-in-one, over and over again. With the additions and subtractions of life on Earth, of course, as it cruelly allows." -Rain Graves
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Top Customer Reviews
Janice and Jim Leach are honest. They’re transparent. And they obviously have a fully orchestrated experience of marriage from raising kids and tending gardens to exploring their relationship through food, friendship—and even fighting. Yes, this couple knows how to roar at each other, on occasion.
So, if this description stirs your interest in this little book, then it’s almost certainly a great choice for your own reading either as an individual or as someone who likes to discuss books in a group.
Beyond that general introduction, let me point out several wonderful aspects of this book. That starts with the fact that they wrote it together. Jim wrote some; Janice wrote some. They served as co-editors. And that means, in some of the best poems in the book, readers won’t be sure whether it’s the husband or the wife narrating the verse. And, wow. That adds a head-turning, spirit-twisting perspective to some of the most potent passages.
Second, fans of Janice and Jim (and there are many nationwide) will know that they are very active in the contemporary horror genre from various other forms of writing to participation in regional conferences about new directions in horror writing. Yes, this adds to some of the darker twists and turns in this book. But potential readers should know that this is not a collection of artificially crafted macabre twists and turns. This is honest poetry about real-life marriage that occasionally turns dark. One example of what I’m describing is a poem about growing, harvesting, cooking and eating beets. I’ll simply say: You’ll never look at a beet on your plate again in quite the same way after reading this verse.
I mentioned “downright inspiring” and I think readers will appreciate the occasional poem in which Jim and Janice share some specific wisdom, along the way. A poem called Remodeling Fantasy uses ominous foreshadowing to deliver some hard-earned advice about the need for kind words between spouses on a regular basis. I could see readers copying out that little poem and posting it somewhere as a reminder of that wisdom.
Ultimately, this is a book of hard-earned wisdom. In reading the book, I thought of the poetry in the ancient Psalm 90 about all the tragic turns life can take—ending with a prayerful plea that, in the end, all we can do is our best with the hands and hearts God gave us. If you do discuss this book with friends, you might read the Leaches’ poem Broken in parallel with Psalm 90. They end their poem with:
The days are hard on us all.
I want to assure you:
You are no more broken then the rest.
That love doesn’t fix anything really,
but what other tools do we have?