CONTROLLED HALLUCINATIONS by John Sibley Williams reviewed by Anna Strong • Cleaver Magazine
CONTROLLED HALLUCINATIONS by John Sibley Williams FutureCycle Press reviewed by Anna Strong Controlled Hallucinations is a collection of questions, interiors, and barriers—stepping into the world of these poems means being alone with your thoughts and the images and associations your brain creates only in its quietest moments. The title of the collection already suggests that these poems will occupy a space far removed from the outside world, but John Sibley Williams invites readers into this space with an introduction to the collection in the form of an untitled poem (following the dedication, which is to “the coming extinctions”). The introductory poem is a series of infinitive clauses (“To be the effect. / To be a thoughtful pause / and restrained response. / To the the passion of raking nails.”) which collectively define what can be expected from the ensuing poems.