Haiku & Review: the leaving

Haiku:
A raw and poignant
examination of love
and of belonging.

Title: “the leaving” by Camille Yameen

Plot: This is a book of poetry, but there is a “through-line” that connects the different poems. Yameen explores the feelings associated with leaving someone and the emotional toll it takes. She also examines her heritage as a Palestinian-American, and how the feeling of having to leave something (or somewhere) is similar to leaving someone.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review: I have dragged my feet writing this review. Full disclosure: I personally know Camille (and her editor, Ryan Marquardt) and am so proud of her for self-publishing this book. Hence reviewing something that a friend wrote can be treacherous. I have already told her my criticism and thus can feel slightly better that I write this with her blessing. I also rarely, if ever, read poetry, so this is a literature nerd reviewing a book of poetry.

This book of poetry is raw. I have known Camille’s writing for awhile (publish a book of short stories next!) and usually she lets glimpses of herself through, but never really makes a character that is “her.” In the leaving, she leaves it all out on the table and it is mesmerizing and brave. Parts I and II of the collection reminded me of a Mark Z. Danielewski novel (like The Familiar (it kills me that I can’t figure out how to make the text pink)). The story arc that connects the poems are so strong that you almost feel like you are reading a work of postmodern fiction instead of a poetry collection. I loved how Camille wove the poems about leaving someone with the poems about her family and their repercussions of leaving Palestine. I loved how relatable so many of her poems are and how they try to cleanly articulate the very messy emotions that come with relationships.

My only real criticism is that part III did not feel as strong as parts I and II. There were still good poems there, but the clear theme that made parts I and II so beautiful and cohesive was not as strong. I think, however, as Camille writes more, she will find her voice and I have no doubt her work will only get stronger.

So proud of you, Camille (and Marquardt for editing)! If you would like to read this amazing collection or would like to support an up-and-coming poet, please check out her book here: https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Camille-Yameen/dp/179278869X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+leaving+camille+yameen&qid=1549846851&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
If you would like to see more poems, follow @ccypoetry on Istagram and check out her forthcoming website: http://www.camilleyameen.com/

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Help.

I thought if I told
you, you would leave. Instead,
you held out your hand.

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(Climate) Change

Guys, you think now is
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I hate hearing you
crack chicken bones; the same sound
as my soul breaking.

that’s why I have to leave the room

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When I dream of you,

you are always somewhere that

I cannot follow.

not unlike real life

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Mental Health

Sure, you can apply

logic, but remember we’re

dealing with feelings.

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At Odds

I know you love me

no matter what. But darling,

I need to like me.

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Errands

Maybe if I make

a list it will get done! …Or

have a longer list!

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I have discovered

in the worst way possible

that I’m allergic.

No more raw egg whites for me

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Rhetorical Question.

Why are we so much

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pain over pleasure?

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