There are a lot of feels associated with Tyler Knott Gregson's typewriter series Chasers of the Light. It's a poetry collection, and poetry is not so much about dissecting every word, as it is about what it does to you. It brings your attention to small things that get overlooked, gives inanimate objects life, and brings you closer to experiencing the world. At this, Gregson's little book of short poems does not disappoint.
There are a lot of elements to consider with Gregson's work. If you've read any of his digital poems on Instagram and Tumblr, you'll know he views life through a lens of love, and this same element pervades the glossy pages of this collection. However, there's also notions of life exploding from all angles, sadness, darkness, fear, healing, and light, all themes that resonate.
What I really enjoyed is how he makes things opposite. Almost telling the reader not to think one way, but another.
"'You hug me like I might blow away,' you whispered, but all the fabric wrapped in all my fingers was not to keep you here, but to go with you when you did."
He'll lead you one way and then turn you around the other way, as though you're backtracking on a thought.
"An ocean of difference exists between making love and being made by it."
The writing is cosmic. It seems at times that he is talking less about romantic love, and more about a universal love that exists within all of us, serpent-slithering through the whole world, whispering to us through the wind in our hair and the fallen leaves at our feet.
This is a classic example of what I mean:
"What worth does this day hold, if it does not begin with you?"
It may sound like he's referring to a loved one, potentially a romantic love, but it could also refer to the universal you, as in the universal us, as in only you have the power to change the way you experience the world. As with anything, we interpret what we read based upon our life experiences, so because I've been meditating on universal love lately, this could be the reason I read it that way.
In keeping with opposites though, he also touches on darkness and fear, but I'm glad that there's light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.
"Have no fear, for you have passed through the darkness and carry the stains of color and residue of light."
This book is personal. I've embraced every poem in Chasers of the Light because they have taught me quiet. His poems are almost something you can meditate to. They make me more pensive, and more creative in my storytelling. They remind me of my poetry classes in college, the way we often address inanimate objects in animate ways.
"When we are we and a closet we share, I will hang my clothes in the opposite direction as yours, because after a wait like this, I think even they deserve to always be walking directly towards each other."
It's a book about seeing things when they are not there, or seeing things where they are, as more. It is therapeutic in every sense of the word. Love is at the root of life, and his poetry forces us to take notice.
"What if all we have ever wanted is inside of us now? What if we are the answer and love was the question?"
That last passage is where I feel notions of peace and healing. We've been told time and again that the answers we seek can be found within, that inside each of us is a calm blue sky, waiting just beyond the wispy clouds and city smog (if you're in that kind of city). This idea is planted firmly in that passage for me. I believe we all possess the key to that peaceful other side.
The poems put you in a different head place as he reminds us of the poetry in people.
"A single burst of laughter that sounds exactly like the rest of my life."
And lastly, the photographs he couples the poems with add an extremely visual experience to the already vivid writing.
Final verdict: read this book outside, under the shade of a tree. It catches the light when you hold it just so.