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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Celebrity Sadhana or How to Meditate with a Hammer by Vijay R. Nathan is book one in the poetry series, The Paparazzo Poet Meditations. The compilation comprises three parts: Pathways to the Breeze, The Veil Between, and How to Meditate with a Hammer, with a total of thirty poems. Written in free verse where the stanza formations are as brilliantly irregular as the meters themselves, Nathan delivers an entertaining tongue-in-cheek anthology with an artistic expression that is rhythmic (even within an unstructured scheme) and satirical, playing off pop culture's hunger for all things divine, metaphysical, and spiritual.
Vijay R. Nathan has written an intelligent and provocative compilation of poetry in Celebrity Sadhana. Many of the themes interconnect alongside a wide-ranging cast of famous and infamous characters that run the gamut from Natalie Portman and Jeff Bridges to Shia LaBeouf and Sasha Baron Cohen. My personal favorite involved Keanu Reeves (initially sad and sandwiched, but ultimately in a loincloth), as he attempts to intercede while Winona Ryder is in Saks, doing what we all know Winona Ryder did. This time, Johnny Depp is a guard. The writing and imagery invoked are exceptional, as is Nathan's ability to churn the Hollywood stories we've been told (true or not) and remold them to reflect the transient, intermittent, and—frankly—disrespectfully appropriated notion of spirituality. It's absolutely brilliant.