This review is spoiler-free and relays my opinion and my opinion alone, you're welcome to disagree. Stay safe and look after yourself :)
We have another poetry book fresh off the amazing press that is CLASH Books. This time, we have 'Regret or Something More Animal' by Heather Bell. Devastating and rich in imagery, 'Regret or Something More Animal' pulls us into a narrative surrounding a woman's struggle through the end of a toxic, and at times, abusive marriage. This manuscript is bursting with a range of themes with some leaving us melancholy whilst others fill us with a bittersweet hope. Some of my personal favourite poems include 'running away is never simple' which produces a haunting and fearful narrative of taking the first steps of leaving a bad relationship and battling the demons that will follow. There is also 'he is underneath my car in the garage' that projects the helplessness and depression that comes with a toxic/abusive relationship. There is a slight change of tone with 'prone to aggression', where the narrator faces a barrier of misogyny yet combats it with an aggressive, regained power. Overall, Bell's 'Regret or Something More Animal' is definitely worth a look for those drawn to heavy-hearted yet expressive and powerful poetry.
CLAIRE L. SMITH is an Australian author, poet and filmmaker. Her debut gothic horror novella, HELENA is due for release via Clash Books in October 2020.