Collecting Thoughts and Emotions at a Certain Age | Review of “The Better Kiss” by Andreas Gripp (2014) Harmonia Press


There are certain thoughts and emotions we all have when we reach a certain milestone in our lives. Most of us internalize those thoughts and emotions – and the related actions they cause us to do – to our inner being and never mention them to anybody else. But is that very healthy? Andreas Gripp has boldly put some of those thoughts and emotions onto paper and given us The Better Kiss to ponder upon.

Rain Delay (Page 7)

I said I’d be watching baseball

but instead it’s become one of those

sentimental looking-to-the-past

kind of nights where a high school crush

and a college sweetheart


where a yearbook and a years-old

letter are revisiting without


and I ask myself should I even look them up

online when I know I’ll stumble upon

their married name,

some photo they’ve posted

with their husband, children,

smiles I cannot relate to

and will leave me wishing

I’d stuck to the original plan

of cheering on my favourite player

while he hits a homer

and steals a base.

Gripp has reached deep inside from somewhere and found some deep and profound thoughts then crafted some brilliant lines to describe what he is feeling. No doubt these are thoughts we all have had and dismissed, but Gripp has brought them forward for us to consider properly.

Twenty Fourteen (Page 15)

I’m at the library

and seem to be the only one

reading a book.

Everyone else has their twitching hands

on some sort of tablet, smartphone,

or  other plastic thing you swipe with your finger

or type something vapid into

with your rapid, nimble thumbs.

No one gives a fat rat’s ass

that I’m pondering lines

from a volume of poems no thicker

than their fleeting gadgets,

no one’s even seen a rat for years,

let alone a fat one, nibbling the corners

of classic lit,

being this isn’t the good ol’ days

of cheese baits and mouse traps,

of librarians shushing you

to keep it down,

of soiled, earmarked pages

furrowed from their turning

by a thousand pairs of hands

that came here long before anyone dreamt

the world would be coming to us

in the oddity of a gigabyte.

Gripp has created clear imagery here. His words flash understanding directly to the mind’s eye and comprehension occurs. But that is not to say there isn’t a need to re-read certain passages. The imagery that comes up again after re-reading is one worth pondering.

Reflection (Page 34)

In the mirror, my face is “backwards,”

The only image that I behold, of me,

is inverted.

What’s left is right

and what’s right is wrong.

Everyone else sees what’s really there:

the marks, the creases,

the straying strands of hair

where they surely ought to be.

Yes, I can see the accuracy

in a photo,

but I want the view of my true countenance

from your authentic eyes,

my frown rising, dropping

like the east-to-west path of sun.

Of course, you have the very same problem,

the fallacy of glass,

the swallowed myth

that mirrors never lie.

I’ve merely stated what the issue is

and await some puzzled look on your face

that only I will ever see.

The Better Kiss by Andreas Gripp is an enlightening read to the thoughts and emotions we all have but never discuss. A great read and a great piece of literature.

Link to Andreas Gripp’s  website

Link to Harmonia Press’ blog

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