Publisher/Date: Black Tygre Publications, Apr. 2008
Genre(s): Poetry, Short-Story
A sweet feeling washes over you when reading VISIONS OF A CRYPTIC MYSTERY: VOLUME ONE, a vibe of spiritual and sexual serenity.
Author Eternity Philops’ Visions is a beautiful view from which readers won’t be able to tear their eyes away. Excellent in its form, approach and creativity, Visions captures your senses. Both poetry and prose encompass this brilliant array of work that speaks to black lesbians everywhere. Its unique charm lies in Philops’ poems that clinch the mind with a metaphysical theme and her short stories that engage the heart.
Visions is categorized by three fragments titled Love, Loss and Life. The first, Love, captures the emotion and physical aspects of affection, with stories concerning unrequited love in “Almost First Kiss” and love beyond time in “Black Lace.” The poems in this section compliment these stories with an air of “Cosmic Intimacy.”
“Come soar with me
Be my love
We will stroll across a plateau of clouds,
Bathed in iridescent rays of sunlight
We shall picnic on the billowed hills of heaven,
As the soft rustle of God’s whispers blows gently
in our ears.”
The next section deals with the facet of Loss, as evidenced by the stories “Other Side of the Moon,” a tale of two women in love who never quite become one, and in “A Luncheon Scorned,” where a woman finally gives a former lover her just desserts. In this section, the poems underscore the feeling losing the most important thing in your life, as evidenced in “A Slight Wind.”
“Her whispered nothings are sweet
their smog a pollution
of my atmosphere
I’ve inhaled to deeply
the toxins of her tongue
Lungs full of a lover’s lies
for lack of pure clean truth”
In the final part of Visions, Philops writes about Life in its candor. In “Bait and Switch,” a con-woman finally meets her match and a workaholic learns there’s more to life than business in “An Affirmative Action.” The remainder of her poems in this section vary in themes from creation to dreams.
“Can I be your poet?
Can I write your journey
upon the eclipse of your soul
along the shadow of your benighted thoughts”
Philops’ Visions is a delight to read. It swiftly grabs you from page one, enveloping the reader in colorful and sensuous expressions that you won’t find in most Black lesbian novels. The poems are concise, inspired works of art that Philops has clearly mastered. The prose is mired in its every-woman appeal, making the reader both laugh and long for love. Philops, who wrote the first volume of over an extensive period and has plans for more, compares writing to opening the soul’s window, inviting you to see the view.
From reading Visions, the sight is quite exquisite.
Reviewed June 2008