The Dollhouse Mirror by Frank Watson Book Review

Watson’s words took my mind on a journey through love, loss, freedom, regret, beauty and hopelessness. At only fifty-eight pages, it was a short read, but compelling nonetheless. I re-read the book three times within an hour. Plum White Pres | Paperback | October, 2014 | 68pp

Yes. It was that amazing.

His micro-poetry was punchy and concentrated. No poem exceeded more than ten lines. There was not an ounce of fat in any poem. Short stanzas filled with powerful images turned the book into a visual experience.

After reaching the last page, I imagined there were fifty more pages awaiting my arrival. Watson left me wanting more. More poems. More imagery. More blue nights and haunted dreams. More weeping wood and moonlit ecstasy.

“to the poet
there is a love of beauty
in all its
terrifying forms”

This was the first poem in The Dollhouse Mirror. It shows how Watson has affection for beauty, although beauty has many forms and they are not always pleasant. The poem set the stage for the rest of poems in the book in which Watson goes on to explore the beauty in everything from pain to warm pillows.

“he opened
countless doors
but never found a way out
from his inner

This poem made my heart sink. In just 5 short lines, Watson grabbed my rib cage and shook me like a maraca. “Countless doors” means the man in the poem never gave up. It also means that his inner torture was something severe since he desperately wanted to flee from it.

“she was a doe
with tender flesh
but the only ones
she loved
were hungry wolves”

Watson plucked my heartstrings with this poem. It was my personal favorite. I re-read it several times. The speaker has warm feelings for the woman since he described her as having “tender flesh”. A melancholy feeling swept over me as I finished reading the poem. The speaker, who is on the outside looking in, sees a precious woman who only loved people who mistreated her. Tragic.

The majestic cover awakened my curiosity for The Dollhouse Mirror. The detailed images on the cover tugged at my eyes, making me wonder what was hidden in the book’s pages. I would highly recommend the book to any poetry lover. Frank Watson dips his pen in ink and paints a picture with every stanza. You will find yourself yearning for more poems by the talented poet in the same way that people in his book yearn for love, forgiveness and freedom.

Frank Watson was born in Venice, California and now lives in New York City. He is an author, editor and translator who enjoys foreign languages, history, traveling, art and jazz music.

- Attending Loyola University in New Orleans - Mass communication major (w/ concentration in Journalism)

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