“I’d much rather wile away the hours
Helping you clean up cadavers of all of
Watch you give them all one last kiss of
I fear this will be me in a few weeks,”
– “Imagine A World In Which We Didn’t Have To Hide Who We Are” (Walker 31).
Jade Walker’s debut poetry collection Penultimate Perpetual Purgatory is one that hurts. Walker focuses on difficult topics from trauma through sexual abuse, living with mental illness and PTSD, the exhaustion of growing up to soon and having the caregiver role thrust upon her, living through the pandemic, as well as watching her own mother be admitted into a nursing home after being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. There is a lot of heartache in Walker’s poems that she chooses to share with her audience, chooses to open the wound of her struggles so that reader’s might understand them.
Beautifully and achingly written, Walker doesn’t shy away from the pain of it all. From the frustration at the justice system for lack of handling sexual assault cases to how she’s perceived by men and toxic masculinity as a whole, Walker’s hurt and anger can be felt within the pages of this collection. It’s a scabbed over, still bleeding thing not fully healed something that forces reader’s to look at it, to acknowledge the hurt and failure of being saved. Walker’s words in many ways are a call to reader’s to take responsibility and urges people to listen to survivor’s, to help the mentally ill, to care for someone else in a world that appears to care only for itself.
Penultimate Perpetual Purgatory is a poetry collection with teeth, a wild thing Paired with gorgeous illustrations, Walker’s poems are ones that shouldn’t be missed and I can’t wait for her next collection.
Publication: January 28th 2022
Publisher: BookLeaf Publishing
Pages: 68 pages (Paperback)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Poetry
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤
This is a collection of twenty poem I wrote over the span of twenty days. I wrote a poem a day from May 20th – June 8th 2021. Some of these poems were poems that I had started writing previously, edited and finished within the deadline. The point of it was to challenge myself as a writer to prove that I could since I’ve never done this before and as always to help myself survive and process my own thoughts and feelings. A lot of these poems are about the global pandemic, quarantine, mortality, working through trauma from sexual abuse, my own suicidal thoughts, living with chronic PTSD, depression and anxiety and trying to comprehend and accept my mom’s terminal illness, taking care of her through it and the non-existent communication, the isolation and the disconnection from her while she was hospitalized during the pandemic and then admitted to a Nursing Home.