To Your Health: Humanity’s Diagnosis by Jeremiah Walton

To Your Health: Humanity's Diagnosis by Jeremiah WaltonAs with LSDGiggles this collection of Jeremiah Walton’s poetry takes a balanced attitude toward its topic: in this case the state of humanity’s social/spiritual/mental development.

The collection contains 10 poems – 11 if you also include the simple message of The Dedication – each of which seeks to portray a variant stance on a facet of human society: from the bitter commentary on our preference for sleaze over journalism in Attention Span to the satire of enforced performance of even the most commendable acts in Pacified America, no facet of our slump toward being unthinking consumers is left unquestioned.

The style of the poems is mixed: some are written without punctuation or clear sentences breaks lending them a stream-of-consciousness fluidity reminiscent of better Beat poetry; others have a more recognisable line structure deceiving the eye into believing they will be simple to read. Apart from the appropriately brutal openness of Attention Span, each poem is layered with metaphor giving each reading a different character.

Some of the language departs significantly from “normal” English, making both reading and comprehension challenging: the first two poems might be among the least immediately accessible to the “average” reader but benefit from perseverance.

This collection is more than another post-modern deconstruction of society, pulling down the trousers of authority to show they have knees of clay then going for coffee; Walton also offers hope:

The light of stars carried on vast distance’s back shine long after death
They knew they would die, but still grace us with sparks of bright
Love weaving Daylight and Evening burns long after Night is in coffin
Day gleams twice as bright for absence of Moon burdens his heart

– And Then There Was Light, Jeremiah Walton

There are suggestions of a third, a fourth, a multitude of ways. An invitation to look beyond the simplicity of right and wrong, right and left, chosen and left, to an additional axis of neither yet both.

I enjoyed this collection immensely. Despite having downloaded the previous edition earlier this year I found the collection to be as fresh and stimulating as the first time I read it. I would recommend reading it to anyone who enjoys looking beyond the simple dualities of mainstream media (and reading the new edition if you have already read the old).

This review is based on the March 2013 edition. I was asked to review this addition by the author. It is currently free to everyone.

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