Book Review “Colder: A Collection of Poetry & Prose”, River Dixon

Winter. Somewhere in North Dakota.
River: Do you know what I’d ask Santa if I’d ever met him?
Dixon: Hot babe?
River: I’d say “I want COLDER”…
Dixon: Are you mad, it is already -16,6 F!

Why do some young kids dislike poetry? Why do so many people unsatisfied with modern poetry? When Marianne Moore wrote a poem titled “Poetry,” she began it with the words:

“I, too, dislike it.”

Making a poem was never quite as simple as making a table, because it requires inspiration and passion, plus involves studying different ‘techniques’ and following the rules. Ben Lerner said: If we can’t speak the language of poetry, it is a sign that human communication has been blocked in a fundamental way. This feeling of failure is what explains why people tend to dislike poetry, rather than simply being indifferent to it. Poetry is the site and source of disappointed hope.

So, please, don’t come to our house with “I dislike or I don’t understand your poetry”. Stop being lazy ass! Try to use those cells the nature gave you for free!

 And now to the book – a collection of poetry and prose. “Colder” opens with a short but powerful verse called “Weed”. And we fully understand “WHY. Weed is where everything starts:

Hot desires,
Crushed bones,
And of course, idea for the book.

Then… weed continues to evolve into ‘steamy actions’. I’m not kidding here, guys!


What a mistake it would be

To kiss you

But an even bigger mistake

If I don’t

And then

Kissed me.

That’s why your mum told you, weed is bad, River.

Ok, now close your eyes for a second, because we are getting completely stoned here. Yes, I know, I know, the title is “Colder” and not “Weed”, but considering the content, I’m going to make a suggestion about changing the title. While your eyes are closed, please, imagine:

Dirty floors.
Ceiling fans.
Pulling chains.
Sweat. Hands. Action!

“Embrace this moment,” whispering the author. “Soon it will be much COLDER THAN BEFORE”.

We are moving to Alaska,
and then to Antarctica… right?

Let me tell you something about River Dixon. He is really awesome, warm, I-dont-know-what-weed-is-guy. That’s why after a very COLD WARM UP he’s pushing us, readers, to fields of daisies, fresh breeze and flowing summer dresses. Do NOT forget the woman!

Ah, there’s always the woman!
They know how to make you feel ‘COLDER’ 
(chillyyyy to the bones)… don’t they?

Then we are jumping with the author of this book from blind promises of love to FOREVER EVER AFTER – the place where you’ll freeze to death!

Of all things

It was you

Who would finally
Break me.

x x x

“I heard you like to break things.” Said the old weed to a girl in a summer dress.
“Shattered pieces comfort me,” the girl answered.
“Maybe it is not your time
, not your place, 
not your love, 
not your story. 
Because if it is… I’m going to kill you! I love Dixon too much,” added angry weed.

“Guys, wait for meeeeeeee!”  – the voice of Dixon from far far away.

x x x 

The book is quite minimalistic.
About the truth and lies.
About new life and old hopes.
About memories which will choke and blind you.
About angels and demons, waiting for you to decide if this is Heaven or Hell.
About love, wonder, lost time, the gap between the ideal and the real.
About the darkness within the light.

It soaks.
It waits.
It pretends.
It tip toes through time.

There’s something

About the END
Or so it seems.

Rating: 4,5 (great read, make you think)
Style: modern, enigmatic, symbolic and tranquil, reminds me some way “The Lovers” of Rene Magritte (painting).

River Dixon is also the author of Beyond the field book, illustrated by Emje McCarty. From Colder to Beyond the field… sounds like a HUGE step to me! Check it out!

Link to the books:

  1. “Colder” on Amazon
  2. “Beyond the field” on Amazon

Link to the blog of the author:  The Stories In Between

Next post – ‘Nari, two-coloured ghost’


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19 Responses

  1. Hahaha this was awesome! I’m suitably impressed, I can’t write poetry very well, let alone review and interpret it! To me, poetry analysis was the worst part about studying English at school, simply because I just never… understood the meaning.

  2. masercot says:

    His poetry often makes me tear up a little. There’s a nice precision to it. I haven’t seen anything out of his site lately, however.

  3. Thank you very much. I appreciate all the effort you put into this review.

  4. Super review, Victoria Ray. Need to read it after “So Absurd.”

  5. iScriblr says:

    Brilliantly done!😇💖🙏🏻

  6. As it happens I’m dipping into ‘Colder’ and ‘So Absurd’ at present – usually about 3 poems/stories at a time to allow the poems of River to sink in and for moral recovery from Victoria’s mind plus time for the grins to subside! Enjoying both in different in different ways!

  7. Thanks. Going to order Colder.

  8. I think the failure to ‘get’ or enjoy poetry boils down to lack of ability to make connections due to laziness and incuriousity. One has to study a wide variety of texts, and I don’t just mean books, and give them all significant thought in order to learn how to look for those connections and make those leaps. It’s a shame not everyone has that much free time on their hands.