Broken Hands is a follow-up to Terra Vagus’ 2021 collection, Time Slip. Broken Hands is a reminder that healing is not linear. That it’s okay to still feel the pains of the past while reaching toward the future. We may not always be who we once were, but those wounds last forever in a beauty that can only be realized through accepting ourselves and our stories.
The clock stops for no one – but who says time is real anyway?
— Terra Vagus
Broken Hands – Poetry by Terra Vagus
If you’ve read any of my other reviews or recommendation lists you know, I am a sucker for darkness with soft corners: A book that feels like the weighing metal of a cemetery gate or like the eclectic air of an oncoming thunderstorm. One that’s best served with tea.
Broken Hands by Terra Vagus surely fulfills that desire.
If you’re looking for something cumbersome and heavy, this likely isn’t for you, but if you want something you can read in passing for a swift kick in the feels before going about your day, I’d recommend it wholeheartedly.
Shedding the Past, Embracing the Future
Inline with the eerie feel brought on by the ghostly pictures scattered throughout the book, it handles a lot of darker subject matter. The work evokes feelings of change. Much like the Autumn backdrop of the photos, the poetry embraces ideas of long-gone abundance, old ideas now past their prime and the emergence of life from the humus and detritus of existence.
You wouldn’t know this about me, because I’ve never told you, but I suffer from severe OCD and Anxiety. For those who also suffer these poems feel like a reassurance that you are not alone. If you don’t possess these ailments then it’s a perfect way to be able to take a glimpse into some of the trials going on for someone that lives in a dark mind.
Anxiety isn’t the only thing the book explores. It has a heavy take on growing through grief and what it means to exist in a world full of people that may not have your best interest at heart. It’s a map of someone amidst their healing journey and it’s done with the rawness that you’d expect from a season notorious for burying its heart.
Spent so long creating little puzzle pieces of myself.
Wanting to be liked by others.
Now none of the pieces fit together,
and I’ve forgotten which ones belong to me
— Pieces, by Terra Vagus
All this being said I am also a firm believer in the idea of finding talent I’d like to grow with. Art is a living beast that needs to be fed and nurtured to grow properly. Though these poems are new they are constructed with a voice that takes some artists decades to find. There is something so special about resonating with someone’s work before they’ve found their groove and knowing you were here to watch their beast grow.
That being said, I am curious to where on the journey this writer lies. I am curious to investigate previous works as well as watch out for future installments. I’d love to see what they’ve learned, and who they’ve become. Especially with the contents of the book being such a reflection of emotional turbulence, what they concoct next could be a completely different vibe and that is so exciting.
Malevolent Dark contributor Kathryn Olvera authored Broken Hands and Time Slip under the pseudonym Terra Vagus. She specializes in finding the supernatural subtext of both real life and fiction. We are looking forward to her future contributions.
Broken Hands (2023) - Enigmatic Poetry from Terra Vagus - Malevolent Dark
Broken Hands is a follow-up to Terra Vagus' 2021 collection, Time Slip. Broken Hands is a reminder that healing is not linear. That it's okay to still feel the pains of the past while reaching toward the future. We may not always be who we once were, but those wounds last forever in a beauty that can only be realized through accepting ourselves and our stories.
Author: Terra Vagus