A Collaboration of Affinities
Rage: The Misery of Men :: Hope: The Dawning of Men Is a Remarkable Cultural Achievement
August 16, 2016
By Dominique Nahas
Rage: The Misery of Men :: HOPE: The Dawning of Men brings together in the form of this limited-edition book a remarkable duo of artistic poet and poetic artist! Poet and psycho-analyst Karen Morris's vibrant text alternates between soulful introspective tenderness and vituperative rage blending marvelously with visual artist and educator John Tomlinson's drawings that are induced by graphite stick and digital stylus, both. Tomlinson's mark making and imagery plunge us into the depths of his self-reflections and self-disclosures. Tomlinson's visual work alternates between mordant self portraits and a flurry of word+image poems, this part-logorrheic/part-glossolaic verbal stream+images have neck-bracing emotional velocity. Tomlinson's work is unique in its combinatory power. It recalls the incantatory textual-visual work of the likes of Antonin Artaud, Nancy Spero, Tracy Emin, William Kentridge (and in terms of intensity reminds us also of the fierce Visionary Heads of William Blake). Karen Morris's poetry reminds me of a blend of the elegiac phrasings of Reynolds Price, with the scrappy invocations of the late, great poet Paula Rankin mixed in with the fierce-edged glinty sharpness of Charles Bukowski. The emotional truths uttered, evoked and "unconcealed" in this book provide emotional, intellectual and psychical nourishment;
RAGE:HOPE is a combined literary marvel and a sensory milestone.
This book materialized when a poet saw an artist's drawings and responded with poems and the artist read the poems and responded with drawings. What emerged was a stunning collaboration of affinities as the poet and artist addressed in words and drawing media the turbulent issues of male-to-male rage with its underlying levels of submerged vulnerability and its repercussions on women and men alike.
The resulting poems and drawings demonstrate how art forms can explore and express harsh truths as they lead us to hope.