Sunday, October 11, 2015

Answer to My Ellipsis by Donella M. Dornwell
Published by Transcendent Zero Press
Reviewed by henry 7. reneau, jr.

When is a door not a door?

When it is ajar, and any perception “masked in paranoia” may enter, uninvited.  

Every one of our personal perceptions of the world, all our private feelings, are solely dependent upon the chemical balance, or imbalance, of our brains. Answer to My Ellipsis, the first poetry collection by Donella M. Dornwell, shines a discerning light into the impaired reality of mental illness. Her fearless use of introspection and unadorned wording reveals the skewed landscape of her altered reality, like a mirror brought unnervingly close, exposing “. . . the door-matted closet/of dreads I’ve been,” proving both demoralizing and revelatory.

As such, the thoughts and feelings, uncertainties and fears of the sometimes direct, sometimes elusive voices in her poems, once filtered through Dornwell’s poetic second sight, boldly verbalize from the secluded room of loneliness, of pharmaceutical depression, the incorrigible anxiety of desperation, unexpected hallucination, and the almost feral guardedness in her interactions with those labeled rational, stable, sane . . . human:

“You’re a pushover.”
but really I’m evaporated,
saying “yes” to them
but “no” to me.

Shoving me out of happy . . . 

The spotlight she directs inwards, using a sparse poetic methodology similar to Emily Dickinson, probes deep into the prism of “dim thoughts/of menial me,” to then unavoidably refract outwards, illuminating the lurking psychosis, and lack of empathy, sometimes lurking otherwise latent in status quo-deemed “Normals.”

Readers of this collection of poetry will no doubt be inspired by her artistry, courage, and “tight rope walk of stable me” perseverance.