Review of Dimitris Lyacos's
With the People from the Bridge
—Review by Editor Ada Fetters

It is often said that good stories “show instead of tell.” Dimitris Lyacos’s With the People from the Bridge gives such a deeply felt sense of what it must feel like for a vampire to awake from the grave or the morgue that Lyacos never has to tell his readers vampire. He never says grave,nor does he say undead. All we hear are the voices of the urban vampires congregating and telling their stories in minimalist form that sounds like the short, earth-clogged remarks of vocal chords that aren’t quite working the way they used to.

Their narratives are all the more powerful because of what we are and are not told. Certain things are taken as a given, as they would be for the undead: they were all disinterred or awakened, there is no need to say this explicitly. However, their circumstances are described in striking physical detail.

“Then I sat upright for a while. Dizzy.
I couldn’t close my mouth.
Open. I couldn’t.
It was frozen. There was something inside
and he took it out. It had dried
and it hurt me.”

The image that came to mind for me was garlic in the person’s mouth, the dried papery skin of the garlic sticking to the tissues of the tongue and throat. I could be wrong about this, certainly, but part of the fun of such minimalist poetry is the playful nature between the poet and his reader. Lyacos sketches in enough sensation and detail for readers to shudder as they fill in the gruesome details in their own mind. If you enjoy new perspectives that change familiar themes to the unfamiliar, if you enjoy a poet who draws you in by inviting you to participate in the world he creates, and if you are a fan of the undead, then With the People from the Bridge is for you.

Ada Fetters has been published in The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Copperwood Review, Humanist Magazine, Niche, Tertulia, Debris, Poetry Pacific Magazine, Pink.Girl.Ink and most recently in Bewildering Stories.