In the infancy of The Poetry Question, I was sifting through the small press shelves at Powell’s Books with absolutely no direction, and no idea what do with all these words. Ross Robbins happened to be sifting through the same set of books and started to offer advice on who and what I could be reading. I consider Ross to be one of the guiding lights into this whole world of small press poetry.
Much like Robbins’ previous work, there is a focus on the stark realities of life, and both the happiness and sadness that depression can bring to the table. As odd as that paradox might seem, it’s incredibly present throughout The Three EPs. The physicality of life and the ache that it can bring – through love, death, sex, and survival – makes Robbin’s writing visceral and emotive and painful and beautiful all at the same time.
This is by no means an easy read – both in the style of writing as well as the content. It’s fractured sentence structure, the movement of the words, and the harrowing context will force you to re-read in order to make sure you can follow the thought train. That said, it is an important read. It’s the read that is needed if you are unsure of your place in the world, or your place in your own body and mind.