NOW LIVE!! Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires by J.R. Rogue Review + a Poem!!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I will be the first to admit that I don’t usually read very much poetry. I don’t claim to be well versed in it at all and most of what I have read has been for school.

That being said, I love the poetry of J.R. Rouge. I literally stumbled across her when she was doing a little author takeover in Tarryn Fisher’s reading group. I instantly loved her poetry, they way that she noticed other people. I love her beautiful words, and she is my living proof that not all great poetry is by bald old men. There has got to be at least one poem, at least one line that she has written that each and every living person can relate to.

This new book is no different from her others, and yet it is. In her usual truth-telling way, Rogue dials in on the way that simple, everyday actions look and feel differently to those that love them. Maybe from the way you drink your coffee to the way you turn the page of a book. I love how she notices people, and how she puts what she notices into universal words that speak to everyone.

Certainly a master at painting sadness and longing but also passion and hope, at times heart-clenching angst, this collection of poems stands above any other poetry I have read (even though that resume is very short). I think that there is something in here for all ages to read, enjoy, and relate to.

If you were ever curious about reading some poetry but didn’t know where to start, this is exactly where I would point you! Easy to read and easy to understand, this collection is good for both the beginner or seasoned poetry reader.

I did receive a copy of this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. I would have bought it anyways.

You are lucky enough that the author has shared a poem that I can share with you today! Please enjoy!


By JR Rogue Copyright 2017

You’re going to reach for the closest
human, railing, ripcord, trigger.
You’re going to see a picture
of his cheek close to hers.
Her blushing smile will be warm
to his flesh & you’re going
to remember the way it felt
under your fingertips when you shook
quietly under the
light tiptoeing
into his downtown apartment,
under his tender attention to
every swell & sigh you created.

You’re going to forget for a
moment that this is the woman you
worried over & this is the
woman he said was just a
friend & this is the subject
he changed & this is the woman you
felt foolish over.
You’re going to remember
that he told you he had never felt the
way he felt with you with anyone else
& you’re going to remember
the way his hair touched his
shoulders & your shoulders
& the way he shuddered when
you told him you loved him &
he returned the words in such a wanting
whispering way that you
never had a reason to doubt that this
was a truth he was afraid to
know but was dying to live.

It’s going to hit you below the belt.
You’re going to reach for the
closest stand-in lover you can
find & you’re going to make
a home in their body &
you’re going to pretend your
childhood memories are hung
in his chest & you skinned your knee
tripping over the curve of his arm
& you have always been here &
there is no reason to grab a
roll of tape at the checkout to wrap
‘round & ‘round your heart because
it is not broken & you are not a nomad.
You have always lived & loved
this stand-in-lover &
he is the one standing here so
why can’t everyone stop staring at you?
You’re going to delete the screenshots
of the texts he sent you fourteen months
ago that you were trying to
pretend didn’t exist in your digital history
& you’re going to wrap
your fingers around your
skull & the pressure is going to lessen
a little but not enough because
there is no delete button for the screenshots
in your head of the way he stepped
out of the shower
& the way he smiled
around his toothbrush when
you winked at him from over
his shoulder into the mirror
of your cramped little bathroom
& you didn’t mind because
you couldn’t walk by him without
brushing your body against his anyway.

It’s going to hit you from behind.
When your friend screws on
sympathetic eyes & gently
touches your shoulder because
she tried to tell you she saw
something there between
them & she tried to warn you
but he said it was a ridiculous notion,
& she was half the woman
you were & he would never
run away & now you’re the
fool in a one-bedroom
apartment & she is in the
bed you bought
& she is friends with the
friends you shared &
they all knew but they
were too afraid to tell you.
You’re going to chain the
color of his eyes to everyday objects
& you’re going to
call those colors liars &
you’re going to bury them
in the backyard with the
cologne bottle he left behind.
You’re going to chant your
name as it is over & over.
You’re going to un-memorize
the way his last sounded
with your first & you’re
going to convince yourself
they never went together anyway.

It’s going to hit you from the past.
You’re going to see stars it’ll hit
you so hard.
You’re going to scramble numbers & dates.
You’re going to remember
the way the shore sounded
different from his tiny bedroom
window & the way his friends
made you feel
welcome in a strange land.
You’re going to forget she
fell for him on that same
shore & you’re going to
make up stories about his
shaky hands holding her
phone snapping her
silhouette into a
permanence that will be
the start of their story told
over drinks with the friends
that made her feel welcome
in a strange land.
You’re going to love him in reverse.
Hold onto this moment
& hold onto the closest human,
railing, ripcord, trigger.
You’re going to pass little
white hatchbacks & you’re going
to wander into their lane a
little before you stop yourself & toss
the paperback he sent you
out the window.
You’re going to rip the
phone off the wall for
dramatics, for theatrics,
for nostalgia.
You’re going to write him
into every poem &
you’re going to rip him



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Sara is a book hobbit that lives in a house of all boys, located in the promised land. Books stack the walls to the ceiling in some places, and she just keeps adding more. She was raised on top of a mountain that is locked in the dead of winter ten months of the year. She wears a size eleven shoe and enjoys her chicken cooked on the BBQ grill. In addition to reading she enjoys pinning crafts on Pinterest that she will never make and watching movies about people with sad lives or documentaries about serial killers.

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