Before I begin, I must first apologise to Jamie Trower, the author of Anatomy. I came to the book launch, purchased a book, and I hate to admit it, but it has taken me until now to settle down and read it.
For six months, your poetry has sat on my bookshelf just waiting to be read. It wasn’t out of ignorance, or that I didn’t care for poetry, or anything else. I felt that to enjoy Anatomy, to be able to take it in and appreciate your beautiful language, that I needed to be in the right space.
So, today, I read it. Actually, more like absorbed it. I sat here with my sticky note arrows and posted 17 arrows, either for a favourite poem, or just a line.
Anatomy is a confronting book of poetry, from page one all the way to that blood red page and beyond. It doesn’t gloss over the pain, confusion and sheer anger Jamie felt, not only at his accident, but at his brain, his disability. . .
Disability hung over my shoulders
like an ocean
Anatomy is a long, painful journey. Jamie details his skiing accident on Mt Ruapehu, his time lost in a coma at Starship Hospital, and then two years of rehabilitation at the Wilson Centre (where we went back to launch this work). He falls down, and learns how to get back up again.
He is angry, sad, confused, lost in a world where he no longer understands. Caught inside his own, broken brain, trapped down a rabbit hole. This poetry feels therapeutic, cathartic in a way.
With each page, you feel everything Jamie felt. His words catch in that part of your brain where you think “What would I do if this was me? How would I feel, my whole world tipped upside down…” Not only the raw pain and anguish of the immediate aftermath, but the tugging, aching struggle of returning to a new normal.
My favourite poem is ( maybe, tomorrow ) , the second to last poem, as we come to the end of the journey we’ve been taken on. It takes us from this incredible adversity to a feeling of confidence and anticipation. A tone of ‘If I can get through this, I can do anything’ slinks throughout this piece, imbibing you to feel this for the boy called bird.
(You can find Anatomy here on the Makaro Press site)