I know nothing about poetry. Virtually nothing. But I do know is that this collection spoke to me on a deeply personal level, and I enjoyed reading it very much. How did it do this? And why? How does poetry do anything? Why do I like some poets and not others? What must a poem have in order for it to “speak” to me? Is it simply that I prefer contemporary poems that express relatable ideas in straightforward language?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. What I do know is that I thought these poems were amazing.
I also know that I saw Jurassic World recently. It was an escapist film and “entertaining” enough. It also made me deeply uncomfortable. Like it was espousing the very things it was pretending to make fun of (like corporate advertising, or a deadening Infinite Jest-like drive for more-more-MOAARRR entertainment). God!! What a world we live in. Anyway. Jurassic World made me think of the deadening, flat language in these poems (how’s that for a connection?). As though that’s the only appropriate way to express these contemporary themes of technology + alienation.
Other themes and/or reoccurring imagery in this collection: the Greeks. Birds eating each other. The Journey of Natty Gann. Deadening, numb, flat, affectless style; peculiar dark humor.
Lines I underlined:
- “I want to cut up photos of flags / Send a stripe to you.”
- “The cheapest thing to do in winter is get a disease.”
- “You sit on a log / What’s sadder than a car / At the beach / A car parked.”
- “I got so sad I remembered being high in high school / How we pretended to be mummies, arms by our sides / Or chiefs of forgotten villages”
- “The industrial revolution killed a lot of people”
- “I wish you didn’t have so many small people on your face”
- “White people who think feelings are interesting”
- “What’s this time bullshit / I want dilemmas involving god and coastal highways”
- “There’s a video of me crying / I was going to stream it live in your bedroom / But I couldn’t find your bedroom”
- “I can see someone is failing / A great failure might occur”
- “A pigeon drags another pigeon to a tree / Eats”
- “You want to put the cold egg of her breast into your mouth”
- “People eating and eating and eating and eating / I guess there’s a point to it”
- “The moon hurting itself on the sky / Waiting one day longer to die”
- “I leave the room so hard it burns a hole in the bed”
- “Don’t die, summer / There are wolves among us / We promise to make more art”
- “I don’t want my donut” / “… lob my machines into the cold swollen river”
- “The question is always whether to be kind / To whom”
- “Give the birds their ocean / Delete the god document / You’ve got to get inside language to be free”
- “Let me be shitty a little longer”
- “When a woman talks / A few people listen / I’d like to suggest that when a woman talks we listen”
- “Even though I have this giant problem in my pants / I am not going to do anything”
- “Teach me to cook with green garlic”
Buy this book! Highly recommended.