Monday 30 September 2019


Doomsday is here and the earth is suffering with each breath she takes. Whether it’s from the nuclear meltdown, the wrath of the Four Horsemen, a war with technology, or a consequence of our relationship with the planet, humanity is left buried and hiding, our bones exposed, our hearts beating somewhere in our freshly slit throats. 

This is a collection that strips away civilization and throws readers into the lives of its survivors. The poems inside are undelivered letters, tear-soaked whispers, and unanswered prayers. They are every worry you’ve had when your electricity went out, and every pit that grew in your stomach watching the news at night. They are tragedy and trauma, but they are also grief and fear, fear of who—or what—lives inside us once everything is taken away. 

These pages hold the teeth of monsters against the faded photographs of family and friends, and here, Wytovich is both plague doctor and midwife, both judge and jury, forever searching through severed limbs and exposed wires as she straddles the line evaluating what’s moral versus what’s necessary to survive. 

What’s clear though, is that the world is burning and we don’t remember who we are. 

So tell me: who will you become when it’s over?

I was really excited when I received a paperback copy of this really nice book last week and couldn't wait to read it. I mean, look at that creepy/pretty cover, and the title.

So, as soon as I finished The Institute, I got stuck into it.

There are 90 amazing poems included in this collection. They come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is a surreal and very traumatic quality that sends your mind floating in a river of blood and ash, littered with the bones of the suffering.

I felt the pain and loss in every word. Saw the devastation with every line. And couldn't turn away. The more I read, the more I craved.

The way each poem painted a terrifying picture glowing with radioactive brightness, was only enhanced by the bleak clips that were playing inside my head. I felt like I was inside each poem, so scared of getting trapped, yet not wanting to escape because so much of the destruction was layered with beauty.

The macabre and the lovely twisted together in a way that still haunts me after reading the last word.

Usually, when I read a short story and/or poetry collection, I single out my favourites. I'm not going to do that with this book because, to me, every poem fits together in its own unique way. 

The sequence was perfect, and although I know they were individually written and self-contained, my mind totally perceived every end of days fragment as one brilliant masterpiece.

I think horror poetry is definitely something I need to read more of. Not to mention more of Stephanie M. Wytovich's work.

Apocalyptic Mannequin is as disturbing as it is elegant. It made me feel like I was lost in one of my own personal nightmares about the world dying after careless, greedy men choose to destroy the planet rather than admit they were wrong. I felt like I was a kid back in the 80s, constantly scared about the threat of nuclear war becoming our horrid reality. And just like I did then, when I read and watched as many doomsday stories as I could even though my distress was as deep as it was strong, I devoured every bit of this collection with raw terror beating inside my chest.

This truly feels like falling into a nightmare full of awful images told through beautiful words. A nightmare with a broken landscape full of death and ruin, dripping with dreamy and stunning imagery.

I'd like to thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this book. It's one I will cherish and add to my Keeper Shelf.

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