Bradley Perera’s A Flower in a Box comes across as an experimental piece on love and belief that dives into a world of thought and inner beauty that no one can take away. While the poetry compilation begins and ends with a short narrative to illuminate Perera’s thought process, the core consists of two sections: Love Postponed and Bluff Tone. Perhaps the most intriguing, yet sometimes head scratching component of the poetry is its knack for delivering highly open-ended interpretations.
In the first part, Love Postponed, Perera’s “Admitting the Proposal” and “A Suggestive Take,” dissect the pure, naivety of new love and examine the fire and passion of love being unleashed. Despite its inconsistent rhythm and sometimes perplexing sentence structure and word choices, “Haunting Resonance,” “A Moment to Myself,” and “Power” are poems that have the potential to speak to the reader’s desire to break free from the mold and take risks. In Part 2, readers will find the theme shift to a more spiritual beauty and love in poems like “A Taste of Spirituality,” “Memory Glimpses” “Sanctuary” and “Ultimatum.”
Shortcomings aside, what Perera does well is paint vivid images. The image of bursting blisters and severed nerves in, “Did You See Yourself,” and the biblical images of sin, blood, and flood in “Guardian Angel” are ideal examples of powerful imagery. Interestingly, the “Lingual Between Pictures and Verse Section” helps supplement the poetry with strong, probing images. A deeper reading of the verse and an analysis of the images gives off a distinctly Cubist feeling; Perera undoubtedly enjoys the exploration of artistic freedom through the written word and images. In Perera's prose, embrace the opportunity to think outside of the box and derive unique interpretations of the author’s poetic endeavor.