DiscoverPoetry

Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric

By

Worth reading 😎

Love, suffering, and healing: this highly self-aware poetry debut will take you through it all.

Synopsis

Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric is a book of poetry fluidly interweaving poems that are simultaneously independent and connected to each other. The author meditates on issues such as grief, dysfunctional systems, complex romantic relationships, the difficulties of intimacy, plus the value of a person’s deepest intuitions, even as the world sees them as insanity. The poetics of Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric opens the door of the forbidden and the sublime with spiritual and psychological resonances throughout. As the speaker navigates her experiences of love, loss, regret, deliverance, and sacrifice, she concludes that every moment is just a juncture in the continuation of a journey. At the end of this series of poems, the beloved walks away but the speaker has gained “the world” in terms of an unapologetic adherence to her own truth. She asks the only questions worth asking: How can her newfound self-acceptance transform her surroundings and the people around her? How can she spread more love and understanding? These questions wouldn’t have been meditated on — or even brought into form — without the awakening in her heart sparked by the beloved.

I picked up this poetry book because the themes in it reminded me of Rupi Kaur and her first book, milk and honey, which was made up of parts that in turn dealt with love, suffering and healing.


In both books, the poems are generally short and punchy. Differently than in Kaur's book, the poems in Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric all have a lingering sad feeling within them, like a deep knowledge of the future suffering and heartbreak. This bleak perspective on love and life permeates the whole book and draws on the belief that anything we dream of and think of is in the process of becoming real. This can be positive, when our dreams are optimistic and rosy, but can also lead to destruction, pain and separation if our thoughts and dreams are full of fear of it all going wrong.


The book contains a variety of poem length and styles. In some, the lines are super short, and in some, it reads more like a continuous flow of words with little breaks. I think the author managed to keep a consistent voice across these different styles, although I feel that the poems with shorter lines worked better. The author expresses a great deal of self-awareness, which is probably what I liked the most about the book and the poems within it. Something that worked particularly well was the reflection of the author on past events and particularly their past self, as it managed to evoke and signify how they wish things had gone instead.


Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. Although a few of the poems lacked rhythm, some managed to strike that perfect balance between meaningful and perfectly paced. Those are the ones that conveyed the poet's emotion the most and catapulted me into their mind for some sweet moments. The poems When I Loved You, I am Just One Body in the Bed, Dreams of Longing and Words & Spaces are excellent examples of this. I think this poetry debut by Mary De La Fuente is worth reading.

Reviewed by

I am a neuroscience PhD student but I have always been a passionate reader and I have read many different book genres. I also write and have done for a very long time. I would definitely say reading and writing are two of my favourite activities, and I don't think this will change anytime soon.

Synopsis

Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric is a book of poetry fluidly interweaving poems that are simultaneously independent and connected to each other. The author meditates on issues such as grief, dysfunctional systems, complex romantic relationships, the difficulties of intimacy, plus the value of a person’s deepest intuitions, even as the world sees them as insanity. The poetics of Love Is Blood, Love Is Fabric opens the door of the forbidden and the sublime with spiritual and psychological resonances throughout. As the speaker navigates her experiences of love, loss, regret, deliverance, and sacrifice, she concludes that every moment is just a juncture in the continuation of a journey. At the end of this series of poems, the beloved walks away but the speaker has gained “the world” in terms of an unapologetic adherence to her own truth. She asks the only questions worth asking: How can her newfound self-acceptance transform her surroundings and the people around her? How can she spread more love and understanding? These questions wouldn’t have been meditated on — or even brought into form — without the awakening in her heart sparked by the beloved.

LOVE

I Had Something to Tell Him


I had something to tell him,

something like the interstices

between tree branches at dawn and dusk,

the peak between the in-breath and the out,

a whisper formless and formed only when his eyes,

his contours, evaded me.




If Love is Fabric, If Love is Blood


You stand under street lamps in a blue suede suit.

Take beating like a sparrow.


Beaming

rhizomes

                       tree-tremored

                                                                                   under feet

Oozing 

                       ink

                                   veined-wells

                                                                       black street

You straighten your tie,

walk toward me.


If love is fabric, if love is blood, what’s me & you?


You stare, through sparrow eyes,

something between us moves.



When I Loved You


The day you wrote your number for me on a piece of tape,

people shook their heads and whispered:

She’s gone off the deep end.


You were raw, dark, uninhibited.


You told me you were done trying to impress people.

You apologized for being so boring.

It’s funny, that’s why I admired you.


We’d sit on your porch in the fall.

Watch the leaves – red and orange –

scatter to the ground.


You asked me what it was like

having everything planned.


I didn’t answer, only wanting

to hold you and soften the look in your eyes,

which were too still and too sad.


I didn’t know that something too sweet

could start to taste bitter.

That I could open my heart in ways

that made me fear myself.


You tried to hurt me with words.

Told me, you deserve better.

You should get out of this town.


I did and never stopped thinking about you.


I could live in the most exotic place,

in the most well-to-do part of town,

and still miss that spot on your steps,

the honor of your silence.


Now, sitting on my porch in the fall,

I listen to the sounds of an empty street.

I didn’t know how to tell you I love you.


Something like simplicity,

and the falling of leaves.

About the author

Mary De La Fuente is a former teacher for the San Antonio Independent School District in Texas. She is earned a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from Binghamton University. Her work has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual every year since 2015 to present. view profile

Published on November 30, 2020

Published by Atmosphere Press

7000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by