The Dark Side of White Bread, by Elmo Shade
The relationship between Father and Son is one of, if not, the most influential in any family hierarchy. For a young boy, it can be the difference between love and fear, between success and failure, and between respect and resentment. the dark side of white bread: surviving our fathers is one man’s chronological journey of his paternal relationship and the lifelong impact of experiencing emotional and physical trauma. It is a must read for anyone who spent their childhood seeking safe refuge simply to survive and to heal from the past without anger or regret.
Can “the earth swallow up men and their anger”? asks Elmo Shade in his new book the dark side of white bread: surviving our fathers. If yes, what is left? Because the father rarely asks, “Are you alright son?”, Elmo reimagines his future: “Maybe we could…sit down together and have the conversation we never had.” His poems find the tender possibility of repair under the wounds, reminding us of the sweetness of forgiveness.
— Claudia F. Saleeby Savage, poet & author of Bruising Continents.
Elmo Shade shares intimate stories of unreciprocated love and brutality during a time when fathers used children to validate their manhood. Raw, funny, dark, terrifying, and helpful to any adult striving to understand and accept a challenging childhood.
—Jim Bellar, writer & co-author of Am I Too Late?
How do we make peace with the memory of those who have hurt us? In the dark side of white bread, Elmo Shade doesn’t pretend there are easy answers to impossible questions. Instead, he faces head-on the shame, confusion, and fear of his childhood, now as a father and grandfather, and transforms the years of pain into compassion. Compassion for his father, yes, but even more so, compassion for himself.
—Armin Tolentino, poet laureate & author of We Meant To Bring It Home Alive