The Amoeba Game
Author: Tara Skurtu
Publisher: Eyewear Publishing
When verses, stories and images of the heart and soul combine, you get The Amoeba Game.
When I first saw Tara Skurtu, I was in a dark lit room, it was way too early for me and Creative Mornings on the Language of Poetry was about to start. I didn't know then that I would later find out what a tipperau is or that I would get drawn into the weirdly wimsical world of poems and raw feelings. Reading The Amoeba Game was the same. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew that it would be a journey filled with everything: meanings between the lines and tumbling words, joy and sadness, disillusions and hope, love and lust, and naked truths. And it was all that, and a bit more.
My body, a strange passenger
surrounded by walls
of books in a language
I don’t understand. I’m trying
for sleep in another country.
I’m taking pictures of
pictures of you.
I have to make a confession first - I haven't read poetry in a while, but a few months ago, I decided to start anew. So the timing was great. The Amoeba Game soothed me with every new memory, every then and now, with its honesty and vivid visuals of places, people, and emotions. Also, the Romanian words dropped from time to time felt like being home, in a way, echoing the empathy of poet and reader all the same, while also feeling lost and in-between. Tara Skurtu creates a jumbled journey, of homes and families, and most of all experiences, that makes every verse stand out with realness. With simple words and powerful language in association, with spaces pointedly placed and an almost confessional voice, Skurtu manages to write in what could be termed a cinematographical style, while questioning her world, our world, asking us to question as well. After all, the title says it all, revealed in the omonym poem - The Amoeba Game, a silly childhood game, a serious adult game, the game of origins and unknowns, the game of seeking, always seeking with blind eyes.
I wanted to read more with each page turned and devoured the volume in two days, but I believe I will come back to it, again and again, to find new meanings and subtleties. I've already started with some of my favourite poems in there. For that's what poetry does, right?
The bird moved when I moved.
It was like a klonopin, it slept
between my breasts—opened its eyes
only when I peeked inside my shirt
and let in light.