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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Control is the third collection of poems written by prolific poetess Kara Petrovic, preceded by Beyond Rock Bottom and Forget-me-not. In another deeply personal, soul-baring compilation, Petrovic delivers over two dozen free verse poems divided into three distinct sections, each titled Methods of Coping and numbers as I, II, and III, with a poetic preface and afterword as well. Touching on a range of painful topics that range from mental health issues and drug abuse, to self-harm, physical and sexual abuse, and suicide, Petrovic pours out the struggles of so many into stanzas as unrestricted as the subjects themselves, freeing the prose with punches of enjambment that lend to the strength and power of the words, even when the sorrow behind them is shattering.
Control does an excellent job of shining a light on the darkest moments of a person's experiences, breaching the threshold of traditional taboos and allowing a reader to wrap themselves in a writer's understanding. Kara Petrovic is bold and unapologetic in the verses she puts forward. The stand-out to me is the poem #MeThree, which chronicles a series of sexual assaults and abuses, the effects of which spill over from one “relationship” to the next, numbing the body and soul. I don't think I'll ever look at a cornfield again without remembering this poem. Like the others, it is haunting and wholly unforgettable. There is beauty in the way the pain is conveyed throughout this entire anthology, and I would give this book an entire bucket of stars if I could.