These poems address a variety of dark issues, including childhood abuse, addiction, mental illness, and suicide. The speaker plunges into his own painful history -- replete with allusions to familial and romantic dysfunctions, as well as struggles with alcohol and drugs -- and, in so doing, invites the reader to accompany him, to be both a witness and revisit the unhealed parts of his or her own life. Through immersing himself in the grief that his descent facilitates, the speaker initiates a process of personal integration, a process of voicing and, thereby, acknowledging the repugnant and debilitating aspects of his story. The speaker visits and submerges himself in the reality of his own darkness. As a result, a catharsis and powerful healing occurs. By putting the spotlight on and fully divulging his wounds, the speaker is, in essence, able to transcend and triumph over them, and in turn, experience a new-found sense of empowerment.
Likewise, the reader, inspired to embark upon a parallel journey, is led to plumb the shadowy places of his or her own story and, in so doing, emerge from the reading experience with a heightened sense of wholeness, a deeper sense of connection to the life force at large.