POETRY REVIEW – The Monstrance

The Monstrance  by Bryan D. Dietrich


ISBN: 978-1-926912-97-4 $10.99; 132pgs; August, 2012 Needfire Poetry

frankenstein1910   The Monstrance by Bryan D. Dietrich is the lightning bolt that gave life to Frankenstein’s monster. It is the storm that rode through the sky-cracking thunder and spurting rain- and the madness than ran through Victor as he waltzed the steps of a scientific breakthrough. This collection of poetry gives breath to the creatures that run from the torches, a voice to the damned that speak without tongues, and a heartbeat to the corpses that walk the cobblestone streets looking for their lost loves. Dietrich weaves the lyricism of perspective through the eyes of monsters as readers are reintroduced to the stories we grew up thinking we knew. Like the doctor himself, Dietrich makes incisions to old tales and resurrects new life through adaptations and outlooks that had yet to be explored. His words are sublime as they take on the nostalgia of the old and the reverence of the new, but it is his uncanny ability to relate to the monsters and feel their pain and confusion that make the words bleed off the page. Each piece is an awakening. It is a lesson, a kiss, and a teardrop. The Monstrance collects the other side of the story and reiterates that not everything is what it seems to be at first glance. Dietrich shows us that love can be found in death, that it can be created from spare parts and shoved out into the world without first being taught how to walk, how to speak, how to feel. It becomes easy to allow oneself to be swept up in the abandonment, the curiosity, and the stark realization that the world isn’t divided by black and white, but rather swimming in shades of gray. But it is in that subtle mist that truth and acceptance run like banshees through the woods. It is in that fog that the creatures take off their masks and reveal who they truly are. As both a poet and a fan of classic horror, I found myself consumed by the raw unearthing of human emotion. The narrator does not once cheat his readers of his opinion, and when he gives a glimpse into his life, no matter how wonderful or how awful it may be, he holds our hand and shows us the way. Because of this, Dietrich’s poems are like dark shades of light. They are mixtures of good and bad, of accuracy and farce, and they flee from stereotypes much like the monster from the flame. With a combined style of literary and genre, The Monstrance questions as much as it answers. It covers as much as it reveals and like the ability to bring the dead back to life, it frightens as much as it excites. Each piece is a story. It is a memory, a fable, and memoir. It is told from the lips of a child, an adult, and a lover. And it is felt by all.   —Stephanie M. Wytovich

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