Best-selling novelist Mike Bond, “master of the existential thriller,” balances intricate lyrical language while wrestling with his classic existential views in his first book of poems, The Drum That Beats Within Us (Big City Press).
“By uniting knowledge with a sudden shock of emotion, a poem takes us out of our lives into a universe of heightened awareness,” said Bond. He believes poetry is a rapid means of transportation, a magic bullet of raw emotive power. Like many poets, Bond writes on the experiences of his own life that elicit a visceral pull from him.
Bond has traveled to many war-torn regions of the world, regions that appeared to be the last truly wild places untouched by storming industrialization. Sharing his most intense thoughts and feelings in an encapsulated magnified form makes a lot of sense. But poems are only partially about sense, as Bond masterfully illustrates, they are ruled by the heart.
Bond covers a variety of themes near and dear to him in his collection including the longing of the human heart for good, the throes of love, the horror of battle, the dark conspiracies of dictators, corporations and politicians and the fleeting beauty of the outdoors (emphasis on fleeting).
The poems vary in topic as they do in length, some being no more than a few lines while others sprawl across multiple pages. Some take time to set a scene, whether it be the cave of some of our ancestors, the historic California countryside he drives by, or abstract thoughts mingling to form an eclectic image of Manhattan Isle. Bond is also playful, and uses words frivolously to capture the airy joy of love in another of his poems.
The shorter of his works are ephemeral in their images, conjuring a distinct feeling from only few chosen words or a rapid shift in tone, like in his poem “Provence.”
Cool warm wind/pine and lavender/ distant sea./ The soil steeped in blood is dry.
BAM. A stroll in the forest may seem like an innocent undertaking, but Bond reminds us that this calm setting has an unsettling history of battles we all are quick to forget.
Apt to the title, like a drum that beats from within, his poetry courses, rhythmic and true through his works. His words serve as an important alarm for readers to wake from their contented slumber of self-absorbed thought and notice the changes around them. Eye-opening and a joy to read, the master of the existential thriller can add another winning title to his accolades.
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ABOUT MIKE BOND:
Mike Bond is a best-selling American novelist, ecologist, war and human rights journalist, and poet. Bond has been called the “master of the existential thriller” by the BBC and “one of the 21st century’s most exciting authors” by the Washington Times.