Book Reviews

Self Portrait as a Sinking Ship Review

By Erica Abbott

Toho Publishing


47 pages



ISBN 978-1-7344992-7-8

Book reviewed by Kavita Khajuria.

“I’m fine is the greatest mask you could ever own”

With ‘darkness’ and ‘hope’ – these poems convey intricate reflections of anxiety, depression, self injury and hope – with frequent parallels to the immersion and symbolism of the ocean and seaside. 
Unpredictable darkness restrains yearning of possibilities in the midst of anxious suffocation and hints of regret. We hear the “fever pitch” of the mental chase “…will it ever be enough?”. With a backdrop of self injurious behaviors, isolation triggers the universal question – “why can’t i just pick up the phone, say hello..?”  compelling important questions – What prevents outreach?  Functional inability? Fear of rejection or change? Are memories safer than reality? Perhaps the need to sustain reclusiveness is the best way to maintain safety and sanity for some – not an uncommon phenomena.
Vulnerability and introspection ensue – the reader feels the sinking – while staying afloat. With reminiscent nostalgia, the toll of experience is shared, tempered by validation and support. Intuitive and intimate sensitivity perseveres – as hope shines through, with an eventual embrace of the cosmos.