Reviewed by Maryam Qureshi, Adviser & Columnist at The Elixir Magazine
Title: Indelible Fingerprints
Author: David Estringel
Published by Alien Buddha Press, April 2019.
Price: $10.36 (USD)
Indelible Fingerprints by David Estringel is an incredible work of poetry (free-verse and haiku) and short stories. The book contains all the scenes, wordy sounds, and images that could grasp a reader’s attention right from the beginning until the very end. Its universal themes of love, departing, loneliness, and childhood memories are beautifully portrayed as he “disturb[s] the peace of blank pages with the moving pictures of [his] silent film” (“life in/verse”).
Estringel’s words are enough to pull the reader into his sepia-toned memories and narrative, fraught with (at times) all-too-human emotions that connect and resonate. His poems tell different stories with new themes and characters, ranging from a lover’s adoration for his beloved to a curious (at times, envious), close observation of his pet in “A Dog’s Life for Me” (“he stretches his front paws, outward, swatting them in unison at something unseen. What does he see?”).
In his prose poem, “When I Think of Him, I Think of Black Coffee and Toast with Red Plumb Jam” David seemingly pays tribute to his unfulfilled father by acknowledging, “I wondered when he would leave, but he never did,” only to find him gone one morning: he does so with the heart of a child that misses his father, a man who is still alive (and present) in his memory.
His love for nature is evident in his haiku, “Contentment (Sittin’ on My Front Porch)”. His words, “clouds drift across pale azure”, are the source of solace for a perturbed soul.
Exploring all the emotions of meeting, partying, happiness and loneliness David explains the mortality of the worldly happiness as, “Tears….like rain….must fall.” This is just as evident in the last part of the book, which contains three pieces of short fiction that smack of memoir and narrative. His story “Windows” is a sad narration of his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and the rapid deterioration of her mind. However, it ends on a note of hope (even if just fleeting and bitter-sweet), where he mentally pictures her “on the couch with perfect hair and make-up” and himself as “a shirtless, little boy in pajama bottoms” reading a children’s book next to her.
For being bold and steadfast in their essence, David’s words are sure to delve in the reader’s soul. Anyone who reads Indelible Fingerprints will undoubtedly read it over and over again.