Tome People of the Monolith

White leather, 6¼” x 10½”; 104 pages, title on cover page. This slim volume looks to have been hand-crafted with an eye towards quality bordering on opulence. The pages and leather cover are excellently hand-stitched and the paper used is top quality. The pages themselves were printed as individual lithographic plates, that is to say, etched on plates rather than with a regular moveable-type press. Every page has elaborate geometrical designs along the boarder; there is no artwork as such, save for grotesques incorporated into the first letter of each poem.

The most striking feature of the book is the unusual medallion on the front cover. It appears to be a very thin slice of some sort of polished translucent rock (Tex identified it as a “nodule,” a type of geode with a totally filled interior), placed over a thin sliver backing, creating a weird mirror-like effect in rich gray and white tones. The pattern of crystal formation is highly symmetrical and suggestive of organic forms. The front page bears, in a bold hand, a dedication “To Mister Roger Carlyle. I hope you find these words to be as inspiring as yours were to me at our last meeting. My regards to Anastasia—Tyler.” There is no publisher or date of publication given.

Skimmed by James Waldorf

This work is a collection of poetry by one Justin Geoffrey. The poems are in a modern style, generally without fixed meter or structure, but with a clear thematic link—menace, horror, and a (sometimes romantic) nihilism. Titles include “Out of the Old Lands,” “Strutter in Darkness,” and the titular poem “People of the Monolith”. The work is disturbing and shocking, at least to a more sheltered reader. The stark horror of the poet’s words are not tempered by the beauty of his writing.

Read by James Waldorf

It is clear why the author of this collection has a poor reputation; these poems are not the work of a healthy mind. The constant refrain is that humanity is a temporary master of the Earth, at best and that, lurking on the edges of our perception, is the great truth of the world. Humanity, the poems suggest, is inexorably doomed, either from our own vices, or our weakness vis-à-vis the true masters of the world; great sleeping gods who will arise and destroy all. In certain places, fragments or signs of these once mighty beings can be found (cf. the monolith of the title). Despite the subject matter and the obvious derangement of the author, some of the poems here are arresting, even moving.

QUOTES
They say foul beings of Old Times still lurk
In dark forgotten corners of the world,
And Gates still gape to loose, on certain nights,
Shapes pent in Hell.
– “People of the Monolith”
– – – – –
They lumber through the night
With their elephantine tread;
I shudder in affright
As I cower in my bed.
They lift colossal wings
On the high gable roofs
Which tremble to the trample
Of their mastodonic hoofs.
– “Out of the Old Land”
– – – – –

Base read time: 1 week

Tome People of the Monolith

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