20 Love Poems for 10 Months by Mary Austin Speaker

First off, I’d like to point out this is dedicated to Chris Martin, who, if it’s the same Chris Martin I’m thinking of, is a hysterical choice since he’s the lead singer of Coldplay. If it turns out that Mary Austin Speaker’s husband is actually just coincidentally named Chris Martin, I apologize…but it’s still funny.

This is a collection of ridiculously short poems, not all of them particularly well written, but there are a few which stuck with me & I felt the need to Instagram. This was more out of the urge to show the world of Instagram that just because you type some crappy adjectives up in typewriter font about how a girl is “like an ocean” or “a beautiful dreamer,” does not make it good poetry. It means you were overcharged on Amazon for a shitty book of half-thought out metaphors. *Cough* R.M. Drake *Cough* (who I interviewed via email back in 2013 & cannot for the life of me find those emails, but it confirmed my suspicions that this guy was a totally shitty writer & was merely capitalizing off a trend that young girls everywhere feel the need to subscribe to, but that’s a rant for another day)

Speaker’s poems are quick to flip through, each one numbered & titleless. My favorite is number nine, so I’ll share that one here:

the pines

lay down

their needles

in a gesture

that means

this bed

invites us

to hold

the trees

whose wrists


This one lays smack in the middle right next to the hand strung binding & while reading it, I got this incredibly clear picture in my head & this feeling akin to the safety I feel when laying next to a loved one. Other good ones are seven, eight, eleven, seventeen, eighteen, & nineteen (but nineteen is mostly great because I happen to love the word “cuttlefish”). Number three and number five start out great, but kind of die with their last lines. Six is awful. Each is about two to three words per line, the longest being 18 lines long.

I definitely recommend this as a simple gift to a loved one though. The poems aren’t cliche or dorky. Since it was handmade, it gives off this tangible vibe that it’s a very loved book. The press that publishes this book actually does some really great chapbooks and I got this one for free while volunteering for them. That being said, they have no clue that I’m reviewing it. But if stuff like that interests you, I definitely recommend checking them out. Some of their stuff is pretentious crap, but I enjoy their podcasts.


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