(A book review by Christina)
I just received this lovely perfect-bound chapbook titled Half Done Things (Both Ends Burning Press, 2018) with a handful each of stories and poems by Mallory Hobson: a talented young lady with a lively imagination, a sense of humor, and a unique perspective.
In her stories, the reader becomes the protagonist amid quirky settings such as old phone booths and haint blue walls; wrestling with conundrums such as the validity of numeric synchronicity, whether or not to wear a wrist watch, and whether or not to drink while writing. The prose section concludes with the eeriness of “Audrey” and the realization that there is nothing tangible to explain the rapping at the bedroom window pane.
I especially enjoyed the section of poems – particularly “The Saint Of”: “I am the Saint of Half- / Done Things: plans and / Goals not yet played out, / Promises unfulfilled for now, / The midway point in airplane / Flights, this poem now.” “The Cheez-It” is an amusing poem with the out-of-place-ness of the poem’s subject and how it disturbed the writer who dropped everything to immortalize a cracker on the floor. I also love “The Box Under My Nonexistent Stairs” with its list of items and the almost triadic feel of item 1: “the first layer / of photographs: / boyfriends (ex) / and cats (dead) / and me (past).”
All in all, Half Done Things is a pleasantly charming read, a voice of youth wielding a precocious pen aflame with imagery; succinct enough for a coffee break, and full-filling enough to enrich a reader’s day.
Copies may be purchased directly from the author: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I just got word that her poem “City Dweller” was nominated for “Best of the Net.” Read it here. Congrats!