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Happenings, Heartbeats, and Mental Breakdowns: Poems

Happenings, Heartbeats, and Mental Breakdowns: Poems

by M. B. Manthe


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Sometimes I think summer has its own

pattern after all, some weirdly repeated

series of actions, happenings, heartbeats,

and mental breakdowns.

These are the first lines of “Road Work,” the poem that opens this collection and sets the tone for the rest of the book. The poems are personal, emotional, and sometimes confessional, but Manthe always strives to engage readers’ minds as well as their hearts. Many of the poems reflect the author’s lifelong struggle with depression, and others who have experienced the isolation that often comes with mental illness might find a little comfort and a sense of familiarity in these pages.

There are lighter moments, too: follow the nervous driver of “Nighttime on 95,” enjoy a snack of “Apples and Hot Chocolate,” and watch the speaker become first enamored, then annoyed, with a guy named Phil in “A Slice of Otto B.” From adolescence, and the joys and pains of young love, to marriage, motherhood, and the deaths of her parents, Manthe’s poems explore what it feels like to be constantly buffeted by the forces and stresses of everyday life, when she’d rather be lost in a book.

In addition to approximately 50 poems, the book contains a short essay entitled “Losing Everything but Our Appetites,” which Manthe wrote in memory of her father.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996962704
Publisher: Lighted Lake Press
Publication date: 09/22/2015
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

M. B. Manthe was born and raised in Massachusetts, attended graduate school in Arizona, and now lives in Kansas. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature, and an M.A. in Library Science. She and her husband have two teenage sons, one dog, and two cats. She also has over 1000 books (not counting the digital To-Be-Read Mountain!), and never enough time to read.

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