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Book Review by Scott Thomas Outlar of The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics Charles Clifford Brooks III is a friend, an ally, and a brother in The Southern Collective Experience. But more importantly than all that, certainly, is the fact that he is a great writer. My opinion, it could be argued, is biased … but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Indeed, my prejudices in the matter are supported by the many award nominations his book, The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics, garnered him upon its release, including for the Pushcart, the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Georgia Author of the Year. Simply stated, I rest my case. The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics is actually two books in one. It also includes an extra piece at the end, Gateman’s Hymn of Ignoracium, which was written as an homage to one of Brooks’ influences, Dante. That, folks, is what is called getting a bang for your buck. In this review, I’ll be focusing on the first book, The Draw of Broken Eyes. Brooks’ work is of a type which is perfectly suited for sitting on one’s front porch, breathing plenty of fresh air, relaxing temporarily from the woes of the world, and fully immersing into the emotions elicited from this brilliant southern writer. So that is exactly where I’ve parked myself at the moment. His work covers the gamut of human experiences, so any sort of weather is ideal. It happens to be raining heavily this afternoon, but my reflections on the poetry will not be clouded. In “Shouldering Divorce” Brooks begins with a confession. “I did it all wrong,” he reveals. The reader knows from the jump that this will not be a book that hides from the truth, but rather embraces it head on, consequences be damned. Such is the path that any genuine artist must travel. Brooks walks the walk with honesty and grace. Brooks is not concerned with rhyming schemes per se, and he needn’t be, for his work flows with internal rhythms that breathe the magic of music into each piece. He is able to skillfully produce that which only a select few can with their craft: uniqueness. His voice is his own. It sings between syllables while dancing from line to line. It effortlessly 60 | T h e B l u e M o u n t a i n R e v i e w I s s u e 4

The Blue Mountain Review ISSUE 4