By Sara M. McDonald
Internet sensation Rudy Francisco, a Button Poetry artist made famous for his spoken word poem “Scars/ To The New Boyfriend,” has finally made his written word debut.
His first book “Helium,” a culmination of some of his spoken word poetry and new pieces not yet performed, was released in November 2017 and was well worth the wait.
“Helium” covers a range of taboo topics such as race, politics, personal life, heartbreak and the occasional love poem (although he swears he isn’t a love poet).
Rudy uses “Helium” to expose the struggles and triumphs of his own life, using witty analogies and eye-opening metaphors. He truly has a way with words that reaches out and touches people no matter their race, age or sex.
One poem that truly struck me was “Strength.” In just five lines Francisco conveys a time where he convinced his fist it was a flower and forgives someone before being asked to. It’s little things like that which makes his pieces so deep and relatable.
Who hasn’t struggled with forgiveness?
Who hasn’t had to hold back their anger?
Who never received a much- deserved apology?
In five lines Rudy Francisco related to all of those issues in an intimate way, and that is what makes him an amazing writer and poet.
The only noticeable flaw of “Helium” is its organization. The book is broken up into four sections, and it is hard to figure out what the theme is to each section.
The first section seems to be Rudy examining himself. This portion of the book has pieces in the vein of “My Honest Poem” in which you’ll find lines such as “My hobbies include: editing my life story, hiding behind metaphors, and trying to convince my shadows I’m someone worth following.”
The second section contains poems that are mostly centered around relationships; this is where you’ll find the popular versions of “Scars” and “To The New Boyfriend.”
The third and fourth sections contain themes that are difficult to discern. There are powerful poems tackling grueling subject matters, but the way the ending of the book is organized does not seem to have much rhyme or reason.
This is a rather small gripe with the quality and passion that is found in every single poem. There is not a complaint to be made on any of the poems themselves.
This is a poetry collection must have. “Helium” lives up to the hype that surrounded Rudy Francisco’s first book release. The author brilliantly created a collection of poems that can walk you through every stage of life.
“Helium” proves that Rudy Francisco not only has a strong voice but a strong and relatable hand.
Header photo courtesy of Rudy Francisco