Collections by Matthew J. Hall
To be human is to come to terms with a repetitive and trying history; an acceptance of the potential beauty and the overriding toxicity of mankind. The Human Condition is a Terminal Illness, pulls individual and societal insecurities out from our collective subconscious in an effort toward analysis and question. More often than not, in the midst of a confused, selfish, self-hating populace, the answers are left wanting.
I’ve always believed the best compliment to give a writer is to say he or she is generous, and Matthew J. Hall is undoubtedly so, with a variety of observations and declarations, organized between remembrances only poets can make. From love to death, to all the aching moments in between, Hall finds sympathy for his subjects at each and every turn, usually when they need it the most. All this, while he asks optimistically, if everything is meaningless, why does the heart beat so fiercely? ~Matthew Snee author of the novel, The Cardboard Spaceship and poetry collection, Evil Summer.
The Human Condition Is A Terminal Illness full of troubling reality and its many disturbing elements of flaws, sadness, and banality brimming with pain underneath. These real life story poems have small glimmers of hope repeatedly sinking down beneath disappointment and heavy dankness. When you want more, but you feel inundated with the many pointless parts of existence. When you crave connection to genuine love, but that is overtaken with glitches of hurtfulness. When part of you desires to fix people’s broken pieces, but the other part of you knows that you can’t or you won’t. ~Juliet Cook, poet and editor of Blood Pudding Press, which published Matthew J. Hall’s poetry chapbook, Pigeons and Peace Doves (2015)
Read reviews of this collection on Goodreads here.
Read a review by George Anderson of Bold Monkey, here.
It is available for purchase from the Blood Pudding Press Etsy Shop here.
“poems awash in metaphor and with a meditative strain. There is a subtle melody to some pieces: “I walked the riverside route…/listened to the water…/the clanking of moored boats/wondered about the sea gulls who stand so close to the edge” (“Harboring Thoughts of Escape”)–“…sadness wells and spills/in and from the crippled pigeon’s eyes” (“This City is Sad and Angry”). The relationship poems–the “we” poems–steer clear of trite sentiment: “though the pigeons still peck at the back of my eyeballs/you have given me reason to keep up with the days” (“She Sedates the Rhino”)–“I hear her sometimes singing/she’s quietly softening the night” (“There is Still a Little Grace in Me”). Among the more personal and less clinical of the poems is my favorite, “The Full Weight of my Head,” a poem about the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt. Instead of something maudlin, Hall creates, through understatement and restraint of emotion, and a plain narrative style, something subtly powerful.” – Wayne F. Burke, author, DICKHEAD, Bareback Press.
“Pigeons and Peace Doves by Matthew J. Hall permits the reader to feel and experience contemporary life in a way that I have yet to come across. Within his poems one finds anger, mixed with tenderness, held together with despair and hope. He has a talent for finding substance and significance in the seemingly banal and overlooked, well demonstrated in the poem “Harbouring Thoughts of Escape” wherein the narrator walks along a river and contemplates throwing himself into the water just so “something will have happened today” and the problematic monotony of a painfully bland existence will be temporarily solved. On the surface such an act makes no sense, but for someone like myself who has suffered from excruciating boredom in conjunction with depression, it makes perfect sense. I also quite enjoyed the subtext throughout this book, exemplarily displayed in the poem “This City is Sad and Angry” where the narrator comes upon a crippled pigeon and wants “to make a lollipop-stick splint/ for his crippled leg” and asks his companion if he can keep him, to which is profoundly replied “sweetheart, you already have”. The following poem “The Full Weight of My Head” is perhaps my favourite in this small collection. I got chills from this one, when the narrator, after having “swallowed every damn tablet in the house” can’t bring himself to confess to his companion, “that love, even as purse as hers/ would never be enough”. On the surface this may seem depressing, and people who want flowery life is wonderful, everybody is happy messages shoved up their asses probably won’t relate to this, but if you’ve ever struggled to want to keep living, a book like this helps the journey.” – Peter Jelen, author of The Cure for Consciousness
Read reviews of this collection on Goodreads here.
PRESS for Pigeons and Peace Doves:
FEATURES AND REVIEWS:
Blotterature Interview – October 2015
Blotterature Review – Review by Kayla Greenwell – September 2015
Bold Monkey Review – George Anderson – September 2015
Sabotage Review – Review by Grant Tarbard – August 2015
Illustrated Poetry – This City is Sad and Angry – June 2015
Extract(s) Daily Dose of Lit – June 2015