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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,307 ratings  ·  431 reviews
Helium is the debut poetry collection by internet phenom Rudy Francisco, whose work has defined poetry for a generation of new readers. Rudy's poems and quotes have been viewed and shared millions of times as he has traveled the country and the world performing for sell-out crowds. Helium is filled with work that is simultaneously personal and political, blending love poem ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by Button Poetry
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"Tell me a story
and let's laugh like it's the only
thing keeping us alive.

Play a song
and give the stereo
permission to use its
outside voice.

Let's sing loudly,
offbeat and out of tune..
Let the world know
we don't care how it sounds
because the only key we need
is already in the ignition."

(from Drive)

Poetry is indeed food for the soul. The cover of Rudy Francisco's first book of poems attracts immediate attention, but it is the poems that will slide into your thoughts and demand your attention. Divided
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
I hope there is something
beautiful on the horizon
that’s just as impatient as I am.
Something so eager,
it wants to meet me halfway.
A moment that is diligently
staring at its watch, trembling with
nervousness, frustrated,
and bursting at the seams,
wondering what’s taking me
so long to arrive.

Somehow, this resonated with me.

Q: Do you know the human body is approximately
sixty percent water? When I walk into a room
full of people, all I see is an ocean.
It just sits there, with a mouth
"My hobbies include: editing my life story, hiding behind metaphors, and trying to convince my shadow that I'm someone worth following."

Wow, this was beautiful, the poems are so lyrical and have an emotional punch. This collection of poems discusses many social issues like sexism, racism, mental health, religion, etc. I especially love the poems about "being black in America" were very eye opening. Like this one here:

"Being black is one of the most extreme sports in America. We don't need to
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finally, finally - here's a poetry book that really lived up to the hype.

Evocative and beautiful, this is a short collection but it packs a punch and covers a wide range of topics - there's a lot of love, from inception to infatuation to heartbreak, but the author isn't shy of straying into more political topics.

Every word felt authentic and heartfelt. I'll be very interested to see what comes next.
Shannon (leaninglights)
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will read/listen to anything this man writes. Complainers and Yes were my favorite pieces of work. I HIGHLY recommend for poetry lovers and novices alike. 🙌🏼
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Raw and unflinchingly honest, these poems—especially those on racism and other social issues—land like sucker punches in the stomach. Read them and open your eyes if you haven’t already.
Katie McNelly
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal collection of poetry. I can’t wait to gather my thoughts into a coherent review.
Kristy K
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, arc, netgalley, poetry
4.5 Stars

My reflections on each part.


Rudy Francisco is a ray of light with hopeful, humorous words and a positive outlook. There’s a light-hearted banter here that in no way diminishes the quality or meaning of his message.

His poems still talk of new love, of a life unfinished, and of finding his way, but there is something refreshing about the way he writes.


As good as he is at writing about optimism, he’s even better at writing about loss. His poems Vanish, Scars, and Museum struck a cord w
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
In the narrative of a gawky, frustrated and heartbroken guy from high school scribbling love poems and shit.
Samantha (AK)
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hello there! It’s me, Chronically-Late-to-the-Party. This is what I get for not keeping up with the poetry circuit, I suppose. Helium popped up in my GR updates feed with a cover that made me look twice, and an endorsement in the review that had me kicking up a trail of dust in my fast-track to the library. It’s just as good as promised.

Rudy Francisco’s work is clear and incisive. He wields his words like razor blades, cutting away to the core of all those moments in our lives that catch the lig
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
"I died early. I died young with breadcrumbs in my hand, so they buried me and when they buried me, they put these coins over my eyes, and I used them as bus fare to get back to Earth, just so I can look for you"
Anna Kander
Rudy Francisco is a black spoken-word poet from San Diego. His book has about sixty poems, a mix of longer poems (about 1-3 pages) with quick 1-2 line poems. This is love poetry—sensual passages dot the text. This is also no-holds-barred protest poetry. It made me say “F**k yes.”

Yet from the first page, I was also chuckling. The book has genuine laughs, and some poems have creative points of view—for example, “the day has been asking about you.” Reading the whole thing was an experience—the poem
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, poetry
Review soon.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Update: this book shouldn’t have been eliminated from the Goodreads 2018 poetry awards.

This has to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. The poetry is so relatable, reassuring, heartbreaking, light, inspirational, etc.

Loved it.
Middlemist Red
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, poetry
As always, in order to get out of my reading slump, I needed to read some poetry, and I was drawn to this collection because of Nour’s review!
This was such a delight to read, not disappointing at all. I loved this book!
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, poetry, perfect
One of my new year resolutions was to read more poetry well it is the only thing I actually did. I read a lot of poetry books this year and while I am not a critique I can say that this book was one of the best poetry books that I've read so far, if it wasn't THE best.
I found it very relatable and the parts that wasn't I nevertheless enjoyed. I'm glad I decided to read it.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arc
This was such a delight to read. Rudy Francisco writes straightforward, vulnerable poetry that could best be described as ‘well-intentioned sucker punches’.
Francisco addresses his own struggles in this collection, at times self-deprecating, at others so unflinchingly honest it feels uncomfortable to read:
I have an odd fascination with sandcastles and ice sculptures: things that will only last a few moments. That’s also why I fall in love with women who will never love me back.

Especially the poem
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, broke-my
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

For starters I want to mention that I don't normally read poetry, it's definitely not my genre and I tend to avoid it. And still, I'm so glad to have read this book.

The book is divided into four sections that don't have an specific name or them but I decided to group together according to the things they made me feel.

Part I is about a shattered man and how he's hurting and dealing with
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a solid and wholly original debut poetry collection. Some of the metaphors Francisco used were stunning and the images he paints are incredibly vivid, and, at times, ethereal. However, I did feel that this book was a tale of two halves - I thoroughly enjoyed each and every poem up until section III, where a few sounded a bit too preachy and accusatory for my liking. I actually found his shorter poems to be the most hard-hitting and punchier whilst the lengthier poems failed to drive hom ...more
Inga Pizāne
Mūsdienīgs, filozofisks, sadzīvisks, viegli tverams dzejas krājums. Manuprāt, brīnišķīga kombinācija, tāpēc lasu un baudu. Autors ir atklāts savos dzejoļos – runā par bailēm, problēmām, attiecībām, psiholoģiskām barjerām.
Karen Mace
I needed to read some poetry for a reading challenge I'm taking part in this year, and was drawn to this collection because of the cover! And that way of choosing books has served me well yet again, as I found this to be a stunning, honest and powerful collection of poems by a man I'd only seen clips off via Button Poetry online.

He has an amazing way with words and covers a wide range of subjects from depression to racism, to love to hate, and hope and despair. And with some poems he only needs
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BookishDubai by: Deepti
“Remember, every year two million people die of dehydration. So it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. There’s water in the cup. Drink it and stop complaining.”

God! I love this poem so much.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love how raw and honest this collection. Some of it was deep and an eye-opener.

I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my opinion, rating, or review
Bree Hill
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“When you’re the only black man in the whole neighborhood, your skin is that one friend who meets everyone before you do.”

I haven’t read a collection of poems in a while that blew me away like Helium did. So glad I finally read it.
4 Repurpose and Mercy ESTRELLA

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2018
Un libro de un autor de una etnia diferente a la tuya.


Reseña pendiente…
Suze Lavender
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Helium is a mix of personal, political, love and cultural poetry. Rudy Francisco shares his thoughts and feelings in a stunning open, honest and sometimes raw manner. He has a breathtaking way with words that kept blowing me away. I was impressed by his analogies, for me they were the most striking aspect of his poems. He has an impressive ability to compare, voice his opinions and show his emotions with clarity while adding an abundance of beauty in the process. His poems give his readers a fas ...more
Luke Gorham
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, 2017
1.5 - I really wanted to write an articulate savaging of this inexplicably popular collection, but there is just too much material to work with. Instead, I'll leave you with this highlight:

She has violin strings for legs,
a graveyard of awkward treble clefs buried in her knees
and I can see the suffering inside of the concert of her walk.


I mean, Francisco's got a good shot at winning next year's middle school poetry slam, so there's that.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-good, poetry
TW: racism, bullying, depression

Actual rating: 4.5 ⭐

This was an incredibly powerful collection of poetry.
A fantastic writing style and metaphors. Beautifully lyrical and emotional.

Different and lovely poems that dealt from police brutality, to racism, environment, (self-)love, perseverance and mental health.

Highly recommend.

Favourite Poem:
I hope I haven’t already driven
past my greatest moments.
I hope there is something
beautiful on the horizon
that’s just as impatient as I am.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ummm, read if you like stuff like this:

"I pray that God somehow turns you back into one of my ribs just so I would never have to spend a entire day without you"

Or: "Most days, I wonder what she carries in the luggage underneath her eyes." (LUGGAGE!!! I can't see how anyone wouldn't be anything but so very flattered to hear that he is spending most his days wondering this)

OR: "he yells like a schizophrenic nail gun" (WTF?!)

And this one is probably my favorite:

"So I've never caught a live grena
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Bee by: Carol.
Shelves: poetry
Good poetry. Straight at the heart. Exactly what the Doctor ordered. Lots of heart sore, lots of wondering. Lots of kicks in the face.

I hope I haven’t already driven
past my greatest moments.
I hope there is something
beautiful on the horizon
that’s just as impatient as I am.
Something so eager,
it wants to meet me halfway.
A moment that is diligently
staring at its watch, trembling with
nervousness, frustrated,
and bursting at the seams,
wondering what’s taking me
so long to arrive.
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Here is What You Can Do with Helium Gas Balloons 1 2 Aug 02, 2018 03:10AM  
Rudy Francisco was born and raised in San Diego, California. At the age of 21, Rudy completed his B.A in Psychology and decided to continue his education by pursuing a MA in Organizational Leadership. As an artist, Rudy Francisco combines activism and poetry to enlighten the minds of those who witness his performance. Rudy eloquently absorbs the experiences of those around him, synthesizes them an ...more
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“She asks me to kill the spider.
Instead, I get the most
peaceful weapons I can find.

I take a cup and a napkin.
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away.

If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
and not bothering anyone,

I hope I am greeted
with the same kind
of mercy.”
“The difference between a garden and a graveyard is only what you choose to put in the ground” 20 likes
More quotes…