My Thoughts 
by Naveed Akram
Trafford Publishing

"This well in my head shatters the heart from
The heat, accusing me of sacred blessings
And banks of talking thoughts called philosophy."

Poet Naveed Akram is a prolific writer, having contributed thousands of poems to online poetry sites. With My Thoughts, Akram selects thirty free verse poems to share in his first printed collection. His poetry does not adhere to a certain rhyme or meter, and yet each piece is carefully structured. Most poems break into short stanzas, snippets of thought surrounded by a pause of white space. The breathing room is appreciate, because the poems are overflowing with unusual concepts that beg for deeper consideration, such as the sharks that "jump to the ground" in "Deeper Sharks."

As if celebrating the sounds of words, Akram often turns to alliteration, with lines like "The crayon of coolness climbs like a Cuban cigar." Words bounce off each other like echoes, as the poet strings together surprising and surpassing in "Satanic Star," or loudness and laughter in "Door to Youth."

While his keen interest in the words themselves is always clear, Akram's meaning is sometimes less obvious. The words function like puzzle pieces cut to fit together, but not necessarily portraying a single scene. Thus we get confounding lines like "Dental implants waste me" and "My deputies should live longer than red ruin."

The images running through this collection are darkbombs, demons, warfarepresumably reflecting the state of mind of the author, who places a picture of a human brain on the cover and talks about his struggle with mental illness in his notes. In this way, My Thoughts serves as a window into the mind of the author.

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