breaths is a collection of haiku from Cleveland poet Joshua Gage. Gage has already made a name for himself as a speculative poet, and with breaths he shows that he has a talent for writing haiku as well.
If the blurbs on the front and back covers of the book from Michael Dylan Welch, Randy Brooks, Stanford M. Forrester, and Ferris Gilli can't convince you that breaths is worth reading, then I really don't think you'll listen to what I have to say. But this is my review, so I'll say it anyway.
The book collects 54 pages of haiku and senryu, broken into groups by season. The poems are gritty and honest, and have that rare intrinsic rhythm that marks the difference between good haiku and great haiku.
my son writes his name
with a sparkler
Gage uses punctuation sparingly in these poems, preferring to let the words themselves set their own pace.
the smell of funnel cake
fireworks light up
a dead cardinal
Each of the haiku stands easily on its own, but taken as a whole, the book is something much more than just a group of poems. It is a look at the world through someone else's eyes, the good and the bad laid bare and unfiltered for your viewing pleasure.
remembering her embrace
lemon juice stings
my sliced finger
breaths is available from vanZeno Press and Amazon for $19.95 plus shipping. Any fan of contemporary haiku should pick up a copy.