Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Hari Hyde
Unbathed Brains
Hari Hyde, author
Poems from Minnesota and the Milky Way . . . Let us, the drafted, explain nature’s reign. Drenching’s more wrenching in an unbathed brain. In the boisterous burrows of Unbathed Brains, Dr. Hari Hyde ponders the poetical precincts of his journeys as a Minnesota farm boy, lovestruck adventurer, savvy scientist, and compunctious Christian. Hari also recounts Minnesota miners, New Orleans nightlife, California’s seaside sprites, Arizona’s grand chasm, a Wyoming rodeo, a San Francisco storm, a Boston waterfront, Munich marionettes, Finnish immigrants, a River Cam legend, Copenhagen canals, a Seattle operatic parade, a Maryland brewpub, a New Jersey township, a Manhattan monument, Missouri steamboats, a sorcerous sauna, tempestuous trombonists, tractor trysts, a peevish pooch, ghostly graveyards, furtive forests, galactic grandeur, and the rural realms that weave wonder into our world. The pulse of America’s heartland patters in this poetry collection: Hereabouts, freedom once won stays snug, sacrosanct. Above all, Unbathed Brains bustles with mirth and exuberance. Laugh into a sack. Bag the blood of a laugh. Oh, what we would give To have what we have!
The pointed, cacophonous poetry debut from Hyde (author of the satirical science-fiction series “The Honeygate Chronicles”) is a collection of widely variant forms, dialects, settings, and subjects that come together in a trilling downpour where the poems are “all raindrops, all rascals, // [that] toot one note and then vanish, // but find a harmonious chord // in the splats of the horde”. Hyde’s verses branch out in as many directions as there are poems in Unbathed Brains, spanning locales from Munich to San Diego and featuring, among other surprises, dyads of grapes and pigs, love affairs with tractors, and an ode to gravity. The collection’s own gravity, though, at the center of Hyde’s web of verse, is the self, the speaker, and his place of origin: Minnesota, where “lakes exhale a hypnotic haze // an aura to hearten the heavens.”

The poet threads the essence of the state throughout his poems. In his contemplation of rain, rivers, and other forms of water, his romanticization of the pastoral in America’s heartland, and his deep reverence for agriculture, that hypnotic haze of “mercurial Minnesota” wafts throughout. Besides that striking sense place, Hyde also succeeds in creating a consistent voice throughout, though it’s characterized by a reliance on alliteration that may put some readers off, and a tendency at times to prioritize the musicality of his words over their meanings, particularly in his more songlike poems.

Despite the love of the land of lakes, reducing Unbathed Brains to one genre or theme would be a disservice to the collection’s breadth and wit. Poems like “Grand Canyon Vacancy” wax philosophical on the perception of the divine within emptiness: “I squint through an abyss // And glimpse the Proprietor,” while “Love Letter” is a diatribe on the commodification of romance and poetry itself. With such variance in subject matter, Hyde has included something for everyone, and readers willing to dance in the raindrops of his collection will find beauty and power in the music of his storm.

Takeaway: Alliterative swirl of poems in a variety of forms exploring self, home, and the cosmos.

Comparable Titles: Joshua Mehigan, Philip Gross.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B+