People of the Monolith
White leather, 6¼” x 10½”; 104 pages, title on cover page. This slim volume looks to have been hand-crafted with an eye towards quality bordering on opulence. The pages and leather cover are excellently hand-stitched and the paper used is top quality. The pages themselves were printed as individual lithographic plates, that is to say, etched on plates rather than with a regular moveable-type press. Every page has elaborate geometrical designs along the boarder; there is no artwork as such, save for grotesques incorporated into the first letter of each poem.
The most striking feature of the book is the unusual medallion on the front cover. It appears to be a very thin slice of some sort of polished translucent rock, placed over a thin sliver backing, creating a weird mirror-like effect in rich gray and white tones. The pattern of crystal formation is highly symmetrical and suggestive of organic forms.
The front page bears, in a bold hand, a dedication “To Mister Roger Carlyle. I hope you
find these words to be as inspiring as yours were to me at our last meeting. My regards to Anastasia—Tyler.” There is no publisher or date of publication given.
This work is a collection of poetry by one Justin Geoffrey. The poems are in a modern style, generally without fixed meter or structure, but with a clear thematic link—menace, horror, and a (sometimes romantic) nihilism. Titles include “Out of the Old Lands,” “Strutter in Darkness,” and the titular poem “People of the Monolith”. The work is disturbing and shocking, at least to a more sheltered reader. The stark horror of the poet’s words are not tempered by the beauty of his writing.
Albert Roger Willis