The Apocalyptic Mannequin (The Definition Of Body Is Buried): Stephanie M. Wytovich
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Paperback: 114 pages
- Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press (26 Sept. 2019)
“There exists the hardship of weakness.”
What an absolute shame that this is my first experience with Stephanie’s writing.
The Apocalyptic Mannequin is a poetry collection like no other collection I’ve read. It opens with a note from the author, where Wytovich warns us. We’re told about what makes her scared, what brings her terror and then, true to her word, she destroys us with her words, describing time and time again, just what makes her lose sleep at night.
I’m no expert poetry reader and many, many times I’ll find a collection will have a few poems that just go waaaaay over my head. Not with this collection.
I found there was a nice flow between descriptive, longer pieces and shorter, sharper stunning pieces. Every poem makes you think, many will make you read them several times, but Wytovich is writing brutal, beautiful pieces, stories that leap off the pages and implant themselves in your brain.
With a collection of this many amazing poems, it’s near impossible to pick out some to highlight. The ones that really jumped above, personally, for me; Behind the Genetic Reaping, Greetings From the New World, Underland, There’s No Air Left, Without Light, Scavenger and I Bury Them Screaming.
Two poems that I will take the time to highlight, were my two absolute favourites.
To Bear Witness – there is a horrific, sorrow-filled song from the band God Dethroned called ‘Poison Fog.’ It’s from an album of theirs that focuses on World War Two. This poem made me think so much of this song. The visions, the atmosphere, the knowing that nothing will be better. Stunning.
Mounted – wow. When I finished reading this collection, I shared my love of Mounted on Twitter. This poem is maybe 60 words long, possibly a few more than that, but I could write a few thousand words about this poem it was so fantastic. I’ll keep it spoiler-free, but it describes a meeting between a man and an animal in the woods. Brutal, visceral, and has kept me thinking about it since I read it last week.
This collection was superb and I think for people who love poetry or those who are looking for an entry point, this would be a perfect place. I can see why Stephanie has been recommended to me so frequently.
Thank you so much Erin, RDS and Stephanie for letting me check this out! A stellar grouping and a collection that makes me want to explore some of those dark areas of my mind that keep me awake at night.
Doomsday is here and the earth is suffering with each breath she takes. Whether it’s from the nuclear meltdown, the wrath of the Four Horsemen, a war with technology, or a consequence of our relationship with the planet, humanity is left buried and hiding, our bones exposed, our hearts beating somewhere in our freshly slit throats.
The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie M. Wytovich is a collection that strips away civilization and throws readers into the lives of its survivors. The poems inside are undelivered letters, tear-soaked whispers, and unanswered prayers. They are every worry you’ve had when your electricity went out, and every pit that grew in your stomach watching the news at night. They are tragedy and trauma, but they are also grief and fear, fear of who—or what—lives inside us once everything is taken away.
These pages hold the teeth of monsters against the faded photographs of family and friends, and here, Wytovich is both plague doctor and midwife, both judge and jury, forever searching through severed limbs and exposed wires as she straddles the line evaluating what’s moral versus what’s necessary to survive.
What’s clear though, is that the world is burning and we don’t remember who we are.
So tell me: who will you become when it’s over?
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here