Book Review: Love’s Autobiography: The Ends Of Love

Love’s Autobiography: The Ends Of Love

Author: Duane Vorhees, Ph.D.

Pages: 64
Poems: 44
Year of Publication: 2018
ISBN-10: 9387883175
ISBN-13: 978-9387883178
Publisher: Hawakal Publishers

Book Reviewed by Dah

From the first poem, which states: “The ends of love /are but two”, to the last poem which declares, “Why, no, I’m not even bored!”, Duane Vorhees’ recent poetry book, LOVE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE ENDS OF LOVE, is a “whizdizzyingly” read.

Vorhees’ poetry does not fall short on impressive imagination or on the usage of clever creative language. It moves unrestrained and spirited throughout this collection, as in this example from the poem, “ANOTHER SPRING NIGHT IN FARMERSVILLE, OHO”:
 “farmers wait inside / their bones /
for the horizon to rise and beat the daylights out of the / sun”. And from the poem, “MY FINGERS”, he states: My fingers have ridden through the forests of your hair / and slept on belly-gold prairies”.
But within this poetic language and lustful imagery we must not forget that the purpose of this collection is to make known, “The Many Loves of Duane Vorhees”, which is the subtitle of this poetry book that leads us to the chapter titles of these precious women: “Beth”, “Jenny”, and “Yeobo”.
Within the “Beth” chapter, Vorhees is not shy about his intention:
 I’d draw sensuously back your damascene veil and let fly my shaft
deep into your bull’s-eye arabesque”, then he romantically coos: “We’ll dance naked, if you’re so inclined —
just billow our charms / wrap our sheets round yardarms entwined”.
And I particularly love this line:
Visit me in my mushroom tower and I will come to you / down this deep dark ditch amid tinder black flowers / down to the buttercups and dew”.
Then Vorhees laments in the poem, “Without You Beth / My Life”:
“Beth: /
I miss you often. /
These paths unmapped and all my everythings nones”, only to move into this truth: “without you Beth my life's another burial ground”.
I know why the sky sings the blues — for you, Jenny, for you”. This is the opening line of the first poem of the “Jenny” chapter, which is as rich in desire as love it self. A quick note here: My feeling about the interior design of this collection is, I would like to see a name chapter-page for each lover before the start of the poems, so that the reader doesn’t have to reference the table of contents to see whom the poet is yearning for.
With this said, the Jenny poems seem to have a bit more moisture to them than the Beth poems, as demonstrated in this line from the poem “Mushroom”:
“throughout your moist and fetid shadows”. And again in these lines from “Atoll”: “:melons full melons ripe /
:those raspberries (pink & wrinkled) delicate atop your / double-dip vanilla sundae /
:your slice of peach: your wedge of pie :your pyramid of / hot cobbler,
tart sweet juices oozing”.
And the poet’s aching continues its erotic playfulness in “Montana Hotel”:
“I do miss the slow flower of your eyes / But I’ll water I guess the garden of her yeses /
till I rest in the hollow of your thighs”.
Vorhees continues through this chapter by sharing many reflections on this particular lover, and this metaphor is exceptionally unique:
“Wrapped like a glove on the dresser. Lovely warm soft / leather. Carefully crafted. Turned nicely out. Waiting for / the proper hand”. And this seems like the climax to out-do all climaxes: “Imagine our bodies in Braille / finger tongues perusing / teasing out nuances / weighing every significance / We turn over / sheet after sheet / Each climax foreshadowed / we read ourselves to sleep”.
As we leave the Jenny poems and move into the final chapter, the Yeobo poems, we are witness to lovers who:
 “for many an hour /
pour their love / from lip to mouth like milk from a pitcher to a glass”, and who take “one half the night /
of the shortest winter day /
and wrap it in your arms”.
These lines “burn with magic” as Vorhees waves his wand over the paper, over his lovers, to conjure words that bring these lovers to us, before us, for us, as he begs:
“Take me in … take me in”, while making “the moon turn the tides into whales against glittery crystal chandelier yachts”. 
With this chapter it’s obvious to understand that Vorhees “rose out of the nursery and went to conquer Love” and knows how to translate his victory into poetry lines that are pages of unexpected moisture “running across your face” and “lying between your thighs” and are “devoted to the many aspects of romantic (and sometimes anti-romantic) relationships”.
Weighing in at sixty-four pages and forty-forty poems, this collection is a heavyweight in love, passion, yearning, and loss, as the poet takes his readers through the many stages of his “appetite and whims” and “the secret vacuum” of his heart that “no intruder can penetrate”, where he howls for his women and their “exclusive delights” and “breaths of lovers with joys unmatched”, as Duane Vorhees professes: “I hand-n-knees my way inside where moist warmth is / plentiful”.   
Dah’s seventh poetry collection is Something Else’s Thoughts (Transcendent Zero Press) and his poems have been published by editors from the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Singapore, Philippines, Poland, Australia, Africa, and India. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee and the lead editor of the poetry critique group, The Lounge. Dah's eighth book is forthcoming in November 2018 from Flutter Press.

Duane Vorhees
Vorhees’ Bio:

Dr. Duane Vorhees taught in Korea and Japan for over 1/4 of a century before retiring. Now he lives in the US, where he is writing and maintaining a daily e-zine devoted to the creative arts,

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