Title: Of Love and Mental Health: March, 2015 – May, 2017
Author: Max Micallef
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of Publication: 16 July 2017
“UnEarth the rails and let my pain
end on this note
A short collection of intense poems that shakes the very core of ‘grief’.
Imagine yourself lost in a maze of trees in a dark forest. Your fingers brush against the trunks looking for some guidance. You are all alone. Your voice hollows as the echoes fade before they can be heard. The maze makes a sharp bend at the corner. The air gets thicker. Another new turn barely fathomable. You are scared to the bone. Streaks of light penetrate the canopy as dusk draws near. You are trying very hard to find the way out. You have been trying for as long as you can remember. You call out but there’s nobody to hear you. You hasten your paces as a fog brews up engulfing the darkness. Its opacity completely impairs your vision. You blink faster than you run. Some branches slash your face as you try to flee from invisible hands grabbing at you. Is this even real? But you keep running. This is a race against time and you don’t have any.
Emotions run riot in this poetry collection that epitomises the long endured and never ending struggle of a poet during a sorrowful phase of his life. The poems showcase his desperation to find a way out of personal mess. Things are out of focus as his vision in life remains blurred due to emotional stress. They reflect the mind of a psychopath and trace the dilemmas, the horrors and the reclusiveness that only does more harm. What is worse is that the poet cannot help but keep retracing those hurtful incidents in his mind over and over again creating a vicious cycle.
The book is heart wrenching. It rips apart the soul and touches the heart of the readers that is bound to be rattled at the extent of devastation a person can struggle with. It is a suffocation that many may have experienced, known or at least seen. The long drawn heavy breaths can almost be heard through the lines. Things begin in media res and emphasis is laid on the emotionality rather than the context which gave rise to the sentiments. Though at times the poet may seem to be a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ but the poems are every bit intellectual. These poems become the voice of those moments of voicelessness and speechlessness where nothing logical can be expressed by anyone who is burdened beyond traumatic effects.
If you have been through depression or know anyone who is going through depression then offer them this book. This book may be an important step in the process of healing for someone who may otherwise not contemplate on living any longer. It becomes a great medium to share similar emotions and find common grounds towards rehabilitation. The poems are dense and profoundly meaningful. Though they never follow any fixed rhyme scheme or stanzaic patterns but some of the two liners almost pose as moralistic couplets. Working along themes of suicide, heartbreak and separation which in turn give rise to further self- loathing, self- disgust, low self- esteem, mood swings and hallucination; it is a great book that helps in understanding the workings of a psychologically disturbed person’s mind. They showcase the anger and hatred that builds up inside a person having suffered at the hands of another or many others. Micallef ends the book with an added suggestion to shrug off any shame or social stigma while seeking help and to encourage others in cultivating a sound mental health. Ending one’s life is never the answer. Counselling should be easily available, useful and reliable. Most importantly it should be respectful of an individual’s privacy. Sharing depression can and will help in preventing cases of untimely suicide. It is a topic that needs to be discussed and cannot be brushed under the carpet. As for the sorrows of heartbreak, Micallef quotes Ms. Amy Winehouse, “Tears Dry On Their Own.”
Fragments of intense heart ache that are bound to choke up tears.
Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!