|Publisher:||Write Bloody Publishing|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It's hard to say exactly when I fell in love with poetry. George Michael was still straight. My mom drove something with rust-colored interiors. So, let's not do the math. Let's just say with certainty I was young, and that besides my youth, there wasn't anything striking or cinematic about it. I didn't live in the storm shelter of a public library, or wear peasant skirts, or sit in trees memorizing Keats. I wasn't a beautiful orphan. My parents weren't ex-patriot literary scholars smoking Gitanes in the kitchen.
I did have an old paperback Norton Anthology of Poetry that I stole from a Sunday School. The one with the yolk yellow cover and vaguely Greco-Roman art. The pages smelled like basement, or tornado,
and were not uniformly loved. Chaucer was crisp as brand new bibles; Berryman was dog-eared and smudged. I liked how heavy it was. I liked the difficult words. I liked the even more difficult syntax that made reading aloud like chewing leather.
Mostly, I liked the way none of it made sense to me. It made the book feel stolen in more than one way. It was like a chronicle of ancient mysterious secrets had fallen in to my possession, and it was all written in impossible code. Learning to understand it, I knew, meant learning a foreign language. Maybe several. There were things in this book that I was not supposed to know - why else would it be written so strangely? Surely, I thought, if I studied it long enough, everything there was to know about life would be revealed to me.
It is not hard to say when I fell out of love with poetry - it was early Spring of 2005. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but I didn't know it. An epic, space-black despair was swallowing me, and the one thing that had always added so much juice and church to my life now felt stiff and lifeless.
Poetry had never been a career goal. I was pretty sure poetry careers were just legends anyway. Like narwhals. Or the gold standard. But poetry had been everything else to me. I had gone regularly to open mics and poetry readings since I was just shy of 13, and at these unruly caffeinated gatherings I found people who are, to this day, the most eccentric and emotionally unstable people I've ever met.
I worshipped them. They weren't like other people. They were smart and free and weird, and they weren't always nice, or good, but they were urgent and alive. It inspired me.