Drops of Insanity by Jeff Oliver

Jeff Oliver’s Drops of Insanity is a solid collection of poetry consisting primarily of short poems dealing with a variety of topics. Though largely focused on musings associated with identity and mental illness while navigating society and relationships with those factors involved, there are a great many poems that deviate into assorted horror-themed allegories and expressions of pain and suffering. It’s worth taking one’s time, reflecting on the word choice and symbolism implicit in many of the verses, especially since the vast majority are no more than ten lines in length.
It’s when we reach the longer form poem of “Her Soul To Keep” that the collection stands out at its strongest. A narrative expressed through the verse; this particular inclusion is a fascinating transition from the previous material collected in Drops of Insanity. At the core, it’s a breakdown of family, disappointment, revenge, and choices with consequences we’d not anticipated. It’s also a poem about demonic possession, murder, and the dissolution of the soul in the searing flames of Hell. What could be wrong with that?
While it may feel like this collection suffers from some repetition where content is concerned, I’m inclined to believe this was an intentional flourish from Oliver. Occasionally this repetition appears in the form of epimone, but more often it appears to be a method of creating a sort of cyclic flow to the material contained within Drops of Insanity. Hell is repetition, as we learned from the Stephen King screenplay, Storm of the Century, and mental illness is an exceptionally personal sort of Hell. Looking at it that way, it becomes difficult to imagine Oliver wasn’t attempting to immerse the reader in the overarching theme of this collection of poetry.

Get Me Out Of This Shimmering Oasis by Lucy Leitner

It’s a depressing reality that we’ve all known people like @wellnesswarrior497. Whether in real life or online, at the workplace, in the classroom, or even in the checkout line at the grocery store, we have all surely run into the people proclaiming their high-vibration energy and how blessed they are. The same people telling us about fad diets, new types of massage, and how this or that crystal will help us manifest our best selves.
Get Me Out of This Shimmering Oasis is a story of that sort of person, shared with us as snapshots to her Instagram account. She gleefully tells us of her arrival at a new wellness facility, regaling us with the litany of ailments she’s overcome through various dubious methods. Within hours, it becomes clear that this facility might not be what she–and the other guests–expected. Sadly, it dawns on us quite a bit faster than it dawns on @wellnesswarrior497.
If you, like me, have little more than contempt for social media “influencers” and their pyramid scheming counterparts in our everyday lives, you are absolutely going to love this story. It’s hard not to feel a little bad for the vapid protagonist along the way, in the same way one might feel bad for a child who doesn’t understand what’s happening around them. It’s ok, though, that sympathy is easily overridden by a desire to never listen to the insipid ramblings of the two-dimensional loser any longer.
Leitner does not disappoint as she scratches away the veneer of sanity and health of people like the protagonist.

This title is available as part of the 31 Days Of Godless event over at http://www.godless.com or via the Godless app. The link is below:

Get Me Out of This Shimmering Oasis by Lucy Leitner