Poetry Book Review
Title: Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos
Author: Whitney Aumack
Released: December 4, 2022
The first poem in Whitney Aumack’s second poetry collection, the fabulously titled Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos, called “A Gift to the World,” immediately captivated me. Because I know we are kindred spirits who, as poets, look at the world in a similar way, often through the mud-streaked pane of depression that we never stop trying to keep clean, and with music as our compass. By the time I read “I Can & I Will,” I was revisiting my twenties and early thirties, reminding myself that I, too, know my worth.
“I dive into what it means to be human in a world of pain, hookup culture, love, and loss. This book covers a variety of themes, such as love, loss, betrayal, pain, hope, despair, eating disorders, addiction, and domestic violence.”
As a recovering alcoholic, Whitney, a full-time college student in Washington State, writes about trying to make it through gray days, succumbing some days to being a solo drunk, always falling for the bad boys, sometimes finding herself doing the walk of shame, and wrestling with unrequited love. I know we are poetry sisters seeking to find meaning in the hardships of life, living for the days we almost understand. Sometimes it has taken a few tokes, a bottle of tequila, gin, or whiskey, or writing poetry to cope, but we play music loud, dance around the kitchen, and do our best to take life one day at a time, choosing to believe there are better days ahead.
Whitney writes many short poems that pack a punch, like “Make It Another Day,” “Tiptoes,” “We All Fall Down,” “Sheep,” “The Only Choice Was to Make a Choice,” “Dancing in the Kitchen,” “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss,” “It’s Not Over,” “No” Is a Complete Sentence,” “West on a Full Tank,” and “The End,” which were among my favourites.
She writes beautiful Haiku, which isn’t an easy thing to do. But I loved “Trust,” “End the Cycle,” and “You Can Let Go.”
Aumack, who did not have an easy childhood or youth, now recognizes what is sacred and profane, always ready to let light in even though she’s not afraid of darkness. She knows there are a million ways we’re all the same, and she knows what she wants to do moving forward. She also knows the power of poetry in healing. Whitney Aumack’s exquisite work will make you feel seen, heard and validated.
Even though I am over twenty-five years older, I see you, Whitney, and you are not alone.