$8.99; 94 pages; January, 2013
By Linda D. Addison and Stephen M. Wilson
Reading this poetry collection was like watching two artists dance with words and paint with language. I felt drawn in from the fist piece, as Addison’s lyrical verse wrapped me in song, and sent me twirling into Wilson’s prose. I danced as they played the music, and sometimes I felt them dancing alongside me, feeding me lines and serenading me with poems that ripped and screamed, that bled and pulsed emotion. I feel in love and I fell in horror, and when the two came together, it was truly a dark duet.
I’ve read Addison’s poetry before, and have had the pleasure of working with Wilson, and what fascinated me the most was that when I read their collaborative pieces, I couldn’t tell their voices apart. They truly became one when composing this collection, their voices meshing together in harmony and in nightmare as something stronger began to grow. Anytime two artists collaborate, they run the risk of silencing their voices. But not here. Addison and Wilson sang together and created something deeper, something altruistic.
A new song.
A new melody.
Pieces like “Bell’arte del canto” sing about dancing on the edge of life. It’s a piece about living, about taking chances and exploring what it means to make memories and laugh, and cry, and love. It questions remembrance and position, one’s place in this mad universe we dance through, day by day, week by week. But what’s beautiful about pieces like this—pieces that make the reader question something more about themselves than just what’s on the page in front of them—is that it makes the reader think of their own dance, their own partner(s). Who are they dancing with? Who do they want see when the next song starts to play? Is it a lover? A friend? Is each song for a different person, or are we dancing into death with a chorus behind us, praising us as we switch partners, switch lives.
Dark Duet is about partnership and finding your heart song. It’s about waltzing into the darkness and singing until the sun begins to rise. It’s about following one another’s leads, and synchronizing stories, heartbreak, and pain to feel again, to heal. Their poems reexamine what it means to be broken, and how through finding each other, we find ourselves.
Yes, the collection is dark, but it is also full of the most beautiful light. Their words, their hearts, are on these pages, but they do not bleed alone; they bleed together. A true collaboration of body and soul. Dark Duet is the dawn at midnight, and the ice in fire. It speeds up at nightfall, luring you into your fears, your darkest desires, but then dips you in morning with nothing but hope and promise. As a poet and a reader of poetry, I can promise you that this collection is something that I’ll come back to, time and time again.
It’s a song I’ll tire of.
A dance I’ll never stop dancing.
-Stephanie M. Wytovich