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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry by Kristen Flood offers a series of spectacularly dark vignettes drawn from several sinister, dystopian museums where humans, deprived of place or purpose, are on display in the form of macabre experiments. In glass-walled cells, they try to make sense of their surroundings and the unbearable suffering each endures for the crimes of being creative and unique in a society with no tolerance for either. Each poem in the collection, written by one of the subjects in the study, is accompanied by clinical notes and a chilling illustration by Jessica Boyer. The prisoner’s words are haunting: “Dead/I am already dead/Enclosed in my own mind/Framed in glass/Encased for your viewing pleasure/Staged as a mockery.”
The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry by Kristen Flood is much more than a finely crafted collection of verse - it is really more like a finely tuned work of Performance Art on paper. The world that Kristen Flood has created is so absorbing that the reader must pause after each poem/illustration pairing to re-focus on the stark power of the words. Flood’s macabre vision is so fully realized that it takes a while for the full extent of the horror she has crafted to register. The torments that her “subjects” endure are custom-fitted to their unique talents, custom-designed to prey upon their worst fears, and worthy of Machiavelli himself. Kristen Flood’s The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry is a modern-day Hieronymus Bosch painting expressed in indelible verse, darkly eloquent and simultaneously disturbing in provocative and prophetic ways.