Mortal Wound

Mortal Wound is multidisciplinary artist James Gardella’s debut collection of forty poems that captures the magic of mania. This ambitious chapbook borrows from quatrains: each untitled poem is eight words long, four lines of two words each, with no repeating words. Centered on the page, surrounded by negative space, the poems are terse, direct, and imaginative in tone and design. Mortal Wound is inspired by the haunting yet illuminating experience of walking through cemeteries to honor our late ancestors and meditate on their gravestones’ words, symbols, and meanings. Gardella grapples with his own psychology, reflecting on timeless themes including life and death; spirituality and religion; and love and beauty to offer a profound message of hope to his readers.