Review of 3a.m. Blues, Joseph Fulkerson

Originally published on Reedsy Discovery.

3a.m. Blues is the second poetry collection from Fulkerson – The Glenmore Sessions being a tremendous debut.

The approach in 3a.m. Blues is very different to The Glenmore Sessions; divided into three sections – Denial & Bitterness, Acceptance & Forgiveness, and New Beginnings. Fulkerson’s focus this time is on the linear journey through and out of heartache, with each section beginning with a glimpse into the speaker’s inner monologue.

“My body carries the bruises of our love”

This book is a sincere, honest and personal reflection in the guise of a poetry collection. Pieces like ‘I’m Nowhere’, ‘More’ and ‘I Used to Want to Sail the World’ are stunning poems which throb with the bitterness and sadness muddling beneath the surface once love is lost.

The middle section, Acceptance & Forgiveness, is not as strong in regards to the talent Fulkerson displays elsewhere and most notably in his first collection. But, the two opening poems ‘Face It’ and ‘Dust’ succinctly explore certain inalienable truths.

Whilst the final poem, ‘The Girl from Hendersonville’ brings the journey to a hopeful end.

“You are

the world that can’t be spoken of

inside me.”

Although, in my opinion, 3a.m. Blues does not match the triumph of The Glenmore Sessions, it is clear Fulkerson was creating something new here. I admire his poetic courage and his ability to play with the written word and how a journey can presented to the reader. It is a book I would recommend reading by lamplight in the early hours of the morning – because many of the pieces reflect the thoughts which appear and disappear at 3a.m.

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