Title: Insomniacs, We
Author: J. Andrew Schrecker
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About The Author
J. Andrew Schrecker was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. He is the author of Post-Millennium Rhapsody and Insomniacs, We.
Insomniacs compose grocery lists and manifestos, a phoenix lies charred in its own ashes, and shadows hide in corners, afraid of themselves. In this decade-spanning volume of poetry, J. Andrew Schrecker blends surrealism, observation, and personal confession to paint a portrait of heartache and longing in recession-torn America.
“Insomniacs, we” by J. Andrew Schrecker is a book of poems written between 2005 and 2017, and in the words of the author, meant for the restless generation. Very relatable poetry whose tone perfectly complements the words is the USP of “Insomniacs, We”.
The title of the book is very intriguing. The beautiful epigraph, which incidentally has quotes that I love, and the very interesting poem titles in the Table of Contents got me reading eagerly.
The opening poem, very aptly titled “Insomniacs, We” is a great introduction to the insomniacs, the creators who look at the world with a different set of eyes than everyman.
I love the general tone of the book which is just right for the content. The poems are not rhymed or have a traditional poetic structure. They are more paragraphs of thought, but they work very well for this collection.
The word pictures created by the poet are stunning. Some of my favourites are:
The urges swelling up inside
me—to delete every contact
from my phone, to smash
my head against a brick wall. (Americana)
over a desk better suited for
a child, a bad comedian for
an audience of none,
your classmates away on
a trip. (Thoughts Adrift)
And yet here I am, restless and
alone in the same bed I’ve
always slept in, my inadequacies
and failures not so photogenic. (Scarlett O’Hara)
The stark contrast depicted by Schrecker in the poem “Everything” shows his mastery over words.
There is something strangely gripping in the turmoil depicted by the poet. Many of the thoughts are not happy but never depressing, almost carrying a matter-of-fact acceptance that is at once troubling and alluring. The book is full of stories in grey…not light, yet not touching darkness. Though for me the cover was not too inviting, the book itself turned out to be a very absorbing read. I would certainly love to read his other poetry collection as well.