Tag Archives: Nick Sturm
Aside

Back Again With Some Sixth Finch

23 Jan

Sorry to sound like the windmill always yapping about that same wind, but gracious, Sixth Finch sure blows some major energy our way, no? Yes! Issue upon issue has me going GOTTA VOUCH THIS. And THIS turns up to be that and that and that. So here I am again, spinning for the new issue of Sixth Finch.

Here are my tip-top wahoo favorites:

Allison Corporation by Julia Bloch: I love how it writes and rewrites itself, twists and turns itself, the poem, I mean, but also the speaker and the situation and the purpose. Mid-poem, it says, “I’m rewriting the plan,” says it twice even, and this, I feel, is key. This poem is that plan, The Act of rewriting the plan. Then, the end, the admitted emotion of it all: “This is a love poem/and I did not do any research.”

The Grip of All We Cannot Grasp by Sean Patrick Hill:

The moon comes on like a cloud of dead whales.

I lie in snow at the curb, and doves build nests in my sleeves.

Baby Toss by Julie Blackmon: This is one of those photographs one returns to, at first enjoyable in its common connection, it’s field and sky, baby being tossed and caught, as is infancy, but why do I keep returning (as the baby might wonder)? It’s the sky doing its magical bluing, it’s my own wonder what happened to the baby as gravity yanked it, or wait, did the baby drop from above in the first place (the magical red shoes and striped leggings), it’s the I’ve-been-here-before-ness of the kid in the green hat. I’m in love with the space this photo provides.

Worthy of It by Nick Sturm:

[…]Wherever you are awake

I want you to know the barn is falling down

slow enough we can sleep on it. It will be

raining, then it will be snowing, then

we will be wet, soaked, swollen, shore

in a way our bodies deserve. I mean

our mouths, our state shapes, our hair

in the morning. The dirt changes color

the closer I get to you. Like I said,

it’s snowing. It’s snowing just enough

it holds together.

We Claim To Be The Only Species Aware Of Our Own Mortality by Amorak Huey:  Wow at the power of these “We” statements, how they jut into, press holes in, strip apart, shine clear our understanding of our limited time here. Second wow at the power of the He coming to do his thing at the end, though we all should have known it was coming, maybe even hoped it so.

Smoke Bomb by Alex Roulette: WOW YES WOW

Read/look at the whole thing now!

An Unruly Collage of Strange and Intense Emotions, or Best Ofs For 2012

27 Dec

If I remember right, I saw Scott McClanahan give this performance after Abby Koski got me wasted on rum and Cokes then introduced me to Matt Siegel, and I had no idea what to do.  Or where anyone was.

I didn’t think, “Hey, where are all the people I know” until after.

You can tell I’m happiest not when I smile but slapped into dumb stunned awe like I was watching Scott bark his generations, a latter-day prophet too made of thunder and dirt-real truth for any church, so boiling over with harsh and angelic vision, soothing my frayed thoughts while setting the room ablaze.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not a cheerleader; I’m a lower-tier saint.

This was probably my best moment in the Beauty Bar at AWP 2012, followed closely by drunk hugs from Brian Oliu and laughs with a few others but roundly defeating some other interactions, Hellos I didn’t want to say, Nice to Meet Yous that felt everything but.  Again, some unraveling.  Basic kindness can appear to us as an unblemished lamb, so we take up our knives.

*   *   *

There is a place I go to read and write when I need to recalibrate and push off the stupid shimmery idea of being a writer or an indie lit writer so I can just do the thing without all the shit.  Two people know where that is.  Both of their names start with A.

I took Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby there during the ugliest time of year, when winter is worn out and spring is all, “Whatever, be there in a sec,” when I’m sick of wearing scarves.

I could barely hold a fork, knocked slack-jawed by Baby’s rapacious beauty.  I found myself mouthing the last story, “Zachary, Zahir, Zedekiah,” a real electric rush that swells like Explosions in the Sky, incanting

And then every morning, some new and constant sun, born upon the horizon.

and almost crying in my booth.  I paid, left, and stared at the iron atmosphere too much for safety as I drove.

*   *   *

The cover of Nick Sturm’s chapbook, “WHAT A TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING!” with its birthday party horses is the perfect graphic representation of a genuine smile, which seems like the kind of person Nick is (Nick Sturm: A Genuine Smile) and the requisite spirit embodied in that joyous little book.

I remember for a while keeping it in the passenger’s side interior door pocket to show to anyone I gave a ride.  It seems like there are about three people at any given time who are riding in my car regularly, so my evangelism wasn’t far-flung but lacked no enthusiasm.  I generally showed my passengers the poem that ends

                                    …My spirit animal is a bear

with a confetti cannon strapped to its back

The point is to surprise you & then maul you

into pieces of joy

and thank goodness, no one ever said they didn’t understand why.

*   *   *

For some reason I read Matt Hart’s Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless a lot while giving plasma this spring, squeezing myself through a needle with one hand and holding the book with another.  Listening to Jimmy Eat World, Lovedrug, The Smashing Pumpkins, that helped too, to distract from the displaced queasiness that got better little by little but never went entirely away.

It makes sense that his poems helped the same way; the direct mention of Sunny Day Real Estate aside, the upfront guitar fuzz and gorgeous thrash of them calmed and exhilarated.  Every appointment I had a half hour to imagine where else I could be besides Muncie in February, March, April, still slushed and gray.  It felt holy, an internal push toward whatever better places there were to be.

*   *   *

Brian Oliu’s Level End is the first book I’ve ever delayed reading to intentionally take time to absorb its packaging.  I couldn’t stop just looking at the thing, turning it over and getting happier with every detail from a childhood and adolescence spent on four generations of Nintendo consoles, starting with the NES, a game for which the book’s design was modeled after.

When I finally did get to reading the thing the effect was much the same, a combined joy and relief that someone understood so well the real emotional tug 8-bit worlds have on us whose first big adventures included finding the Master Sword and discovering gold-littered shortcuts in the clouds above danger.  And rendered it so truly in its surreal beauty and sincerity; all nerd jokes aside, sitting in front of a pixel-laden TV screen with my big brother, defeating all number of monsters and villains, is one of the most loaded and precious memories I have.

*   *   *

I remember texting

I AM THE OCEAN, I AM THE BROKEN ATMOSPHERE BEING HEALED

to Chris Newgent as soon as I read it, and immediately claimed it in a tiny yet steady fashion for my own near future:  a beach, a flock of friends, an ocean, a slew of present moments far from Indiana.  I read the rest of Thomas Patrick Levy’s I Don’t Mind If You’re Feeling Alone with a similar hyper-focused sprint, or as a binge, on the couch in my beige and tan apartment and sunk into myself with relief, consuming its color and breathlessness.

*   *   *

There’s a modest handful of books that wind themselves around the edge of my thoughts almost constantly. I think this is in part a residual effect of being an expatriate of Christianity that took the idea of being in constant prayer deeply to heart:  once the verses about no hope for men outside of Yahweh and his son were discarded from whatever walled garden in me they occupied, there was left a decade’s worth of empty earth.

Ben Kopel’s VICTORY is one of those few books that immediately took root in me.  Fragments of it run through my head throughout the day, quiet meditations on how to stay vital and honest and brave.  This book was the first thing I wrote about for Vouched and it remains one of my favorite, most dearly loved books of poetry or anything else.  When I read it I feel like the first time I realized that wet pavement under streetlight is beautiful.  I feel fifteen, riding with my brother in his Explorer through cornfields at night, summer, hands out the windows, brushing fingertips with fireflies.

I could not tell you what my favorite poem is from the book, but there is one part from the poem “Because We Must” that heartbeats through my thoughts almost daily:

A prayer, now

& at the hour of our death—

Fill me with yr light inside this car.

Fill me with yr light.

*   *   *

Yesterday, Christmas, after my family ate a lot of things then opened a lot of things and then said even more things, I continued reading Sal Pane’s novel Last Call in the City of Bridges.  I get embarrassed with how often the book describes my own tendencies and identity:  self-doubt alongside a sense of superiority, a feeling of specialness bred in part by constant consumption of heroic narratives growing up, strong attachment to video games and college memories, yet another member of a generation that was told by parents and teachers to get good grades or else we’d have to work at McDonald’s then was chastised by parents and teachers for thinking we were too good to work at McDonald’s.  The accuracy is painful.

I’m only halfway through so I can give you no conclusions, other than to state that I’m curious to see what direction a story about the directionless will take, and that reading will take me into 2013, heading in one of many possible directions.

“Since I got here I’ve been hugging everyone”– Nick Sturm at SCUD

4 Oct

It’s true that Nick Sturm and I are pals, the waves of the interwebs colliding us together about a year ago. And it’s true this space is where I come to say just that, what thrills me, what moves me, what makes me feel more life-jogger than dirty dish in the sink.

What is also true is how Nick Sturm was before and still is undoubtedly one of my favorite of these poets rattling those same webspaces, proven again at SCUD with three poems that say WAKE UP WITH ME. These poems are portraits of living, so sure of themselves telling you what living is and what is truly up, but notice the shift poem to poem, that same voice shape-shifting within the one webpage, acknowledging how clumsy and flimsy and TOGETHER life is. It’s beautiful, the pictures Sturm paints, showing me just how motion-filled living is, how okay that is, how joyous and YES that can be.

Make a mess      Read a book      We all
might need to go to bed more often
together    Put on & take off our
intentions without purpose    It’s all good
as long as no one’s decent    As long as
we end up loose & whipped by mist
into gladness    The day picking up
to bash us immortal

Vouched On The Road: Akron with Nick Sturm and Mike Krutel

21 Jun

In the first of my road trip posts, I visit with Nick Sturm and Mike Krutel of Akron for some rad hangage.  

Here they are, our first hosts, our radiating poets, Nick Sturm and Mike Krutel, recent NEOMFA graduates, lifelong Akronites, rad dudes.

Sturm, you might remember, of his TREMENDOUS TIME (and will see him chapbooking again with his BASIC GUIDE that just won the Bateau Press Boom Chapbook contest). Krutel, you need to remember, from poems like these and this.

These dudes can write! But can they live?!

I asked them both a bunch of questions beforehand about their connection to Akron.

KRUTEL SPEAKS

1. How long have you lived in Akron?

I have lived around Akron pretty much my entire life. It’s one of those cities that have dozens of other communities surrounding it in every direction (small suburban towns/”cities” and also areas that are more farmland). But I spent most of my teenage years hanging around Akron, running around the city with friends, and participating in the local music scene to lesser and greater extents. I have been an actual resident for nearly three years now.

2. What are your favorite pieces of Akron?

The part of town that I live in (North Hill) has a lot of nostalgia buried in corners of it, most related to being in high school and playing music with a good friend who lived in that area. Other than that, I enjoy going to Highland Square. It’s the only real neighborhood in Akron, that is, one that has a distinct culture about it. I have grown a bit tired of the Square over the years, but there are a few parts I’ll never get tired of, such as the local punk bar. There is also an amazing record store named Square Records that is a definite place to stop even if you are just passing through town. One last area worth all its weight is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park system on the edge of the city. There are good hiking trails, as well as the old towpath that is now a hike and bike trail.

3. What keeps you in Akron?

For one, Akron is an extremely affordable place to live. But other than that, I have yet to live anywhere else than in Akron or in areas around it. Though there is a college crowd around, Akron still holds onto it’s own identity without being wrapped up in college life, which can get old after awhile.

4. How has Akron influenced your writing?

I am really unsure how to answer this question. Perhaps the only thing I can think of is that having been settled in here for so long, and the affordability factor, I have been able to invest in traveling and experiences outside of Akron, which I then come home and digest. There is enough space in and around Akron that it doesn’t feel claustrophobic ever, as it might in other major cities at times.

5. If you could live in any city, what would it be and why?

I have the dream to live in some major city, at some time in the next few years (I hope), such as Chicago, New York, or some place like that. I’m not to picky, I just really want to experience that kind of life for at least a bit. Chicago is always nice because it is familiar, being a Midwest city. Basically, I would love to not need a car and just use public transit. Akron has pretty bad public transit in my experience.

6. How’s the literary scene in Akron?

While maybe not that great/thriving, it always feels like it is because of my friends and I and how stoked we are to be involved with the greater Lit community as well as each other. The Big Big Mess Readings Series has been really bolstered Akron’s connection to the larger community by bringing in awesome writers to read and hangout here.

7. Describe Akron in three words.

Salad, half cheese.

8. What are you most stoked to show me in Akron?

My porch. And maybe some hills.

The Big Big Mess Readings Series, ah yes. Held at the mega-cool Annabell’s, that glorious thing Sturm started last year, having brought in readers such as Matt Bell, Heather Christle, Jason Bredle, and many others. Krutel and Alexis Pope hope to keep those good times rolling next year. I had the pleasure of reading at a Big Big Mess in January and boy, they sure are fun fun fun, hootin’ and hollerin’ and clappin’ great time.

Vouched contributor, Ashley Ford, made this journey with me (and big thxxxxx to her for these pictures and videos). First big adventure was hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Above Ashley and Sturm dance on a wobbly rock. These guys like to wander around, like to wonder about their surroundings. Sturm full of stories about finding horse teeth in a river, about the history of the land. Krutel the constant kind guy, the warning signal of slippery rocks, the teller of the whats-up.

If you’re paying any attention, you’ll be astounded by these two dudes’ sense of self, how they absorb and exist, experience and share.

STURM SPEAKS

1. How long have you lived in Akron?

I’ve been in and around Akron most of life with short stints in Michigan and Oregon that always made me appreciate Ohio more. I’m actually about to move out of Ohio for a PhD program in Florida, so I’m finding myself looking back on my time here, getting nostalgic and way too fluffy, but really realizing how amazing it’s been. I was in Massachusetts a couple weeks ago and Christopher Deweese and I were talking about my upcoming move and he said something like, “How do you feel about leaving? Akron is your jam, right?” I said something about how it’ll be okay because the trees in Tallahassee are rad. But he’s right, Akron will always be my jam.

2. What are your favorite pieces of Akron?

52 Corson front porch. Kendall Hills secret creek valley in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Abandoned downtown roof spot. Skating down Mill Street. The Aqueduct garden.

3. What keeps you in Akron?

For the last seven years school has kept me in Akron, my undergrad in History and my just-finished MFA. But it wasn’t really that simple. I left Akron post-undergrad not really planning to come back soon. Went to Oregon. Got my certificate to teach English as a second language. Planned to go overseas to use that certificate. But then this girl happened. The best girl. So I came back for her, jumped into the MFA on a whim, and here I am. No more girl, but that’s how things happen. Realistically, there are only so many dance parties you can have in one city before moving on. It’s been a really good seven year dance party…

4. How has Akron influenced your writing?

I spent my undergrad reading Ginsberg, Whitman, and Blake and seeing Akron through their prophetic voices as a place that kind of embodied the line between the human and nonhuman, natural and artificial, hope and decay, pastoral and urban. So a lot of my terrible early poems were these ecstatic, pseudo-transcendental attempts to show how awesome it was to be alive while wandering through a continual mixture of sunlight and desolation a la James Wright if James Wright had spent a weekend camping with Kenneth Koch while they wrote all the songs for Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! I still feel the current poems connected to all that in ways, but I don’t think anyone would say my work is connected to Akron or any place really, though I know my environment does influence the poems. I wouldn’t have started writing the poems from my first chap, WHAT A TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING!, if it hadn’t been May and spring was just starting to set in and everything was turning over golden again. So Akron is there somehow. I guess you could say there’s an Akron glow over it, but you wouldn’t know unless you knew me in this place. I think a lot of people’s poems are like that.

5. If you could live in any city, what would it be and why?

Give me every city. I’m too curious to decide.

6. How’s the literary scene in Akron?

I think the literacy scene in Akron has, over the last few years, really started to become something, or at least it’s become possible that a poet in Northampton, Massachusetts knows what Akron, Ohio is. Is that even significant? I don’t know. A couple years ago when I was starting to become aware of the wider contemporary poetry scene I felt like Akron wasn’t really on the map. But not for any reason, you know. Somebody just needed to stand up and start saying, “Hey, have you been to Akron? What do you know about poetry in Akron? Pretty dope, huh?” Hart Crane wrote a poem that is dear to my heart’s heart called “Porphyro in Akron” where he talks about rubber workers on Main Street and our “smoke-ridden hills” and the etymology of Akron, which comes from the Greek acros, “high place” (Akron is in Summit County) and really shows how much of a working class town Akron was in the early 1920s, which is right when my family moved to Akron from West Virginia to work in the rubber factories, and then at the end of the poem says: “The stars are drowned in a slow rain, / And a hash of noises is slung up from the street. / You ought, really, to try to sleep, / Even though, in this town, poetry’s a / Bedroom occupation.” Throughout the poem Crane is both celebrating and lamenting the working class and industrial landscape he sees – these people are alive and joyful but they’re also doomed to the inhuman forces of a newly forming modern America – and I’ve always loved how Crane modulates between despair and a tired joy, like when they overpay the Sunday fiddlers “because we felt like it,” but I can’t deal with how he ultimately gives in at the end of the poem when “poetry’s a / Bedroom occupation.” I put my shoulder to the wheel with THE BIG BIG MESS READING SERIES trying to get amazing writers into Akron to read and to get people out of their bedrooms to see what new poetry is all about and I’m so happy that the BBM is now continuing under the control of Alexis Pope and Mike Krutel. Other reasons Akron isn’t a town where poetry is a bedroom occupation: Barn Owl Review, edited by Mary Biddinger (for real, if you ever want to know why Akron is awesome, ask Mary), and the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts. Become psyched.

7. Describe Akron in three words.

Pretty rad, regardless.

8. What are you most stoked to show me in Akron?

HOW WE’RE NEVER ACTUALLY APART.

Oh hey, Akron has some killer food, I’m telling you, like this awesome grilled cheese (with grilled apples! C’MON) and goldfish crackers from Lockview (rad Great Lakes beer not shown), like MR ZUBS where you can get a Mac and Cheese sandwich and tator tots!

How does one bring up Joshua Kleinberg? After the entire state of Florida had had enough, Kleinberg has been bouncing around Ohio and recently got stuck in Akron. He’s a cool poet too and a nice guy, putting together a reading for myself, himself, Sturm, Krutel, and Akron writer Alexis Pope (along with sets by local metal bands Rhomer and Gasmask).

Hey look, it’s Sturm ollieing over Ashley, getting psyched for his reading.

Basically, Akron felt like a big Fourth of July party, and that’s a good thing. I ended up getting a tattoo, my first!, at the Sturm/Krutel/Kleinberg-vouched Good Life shop in Akron. You can see a little more chatter about that here.

While this weekend was jam-packed with readings (the Akron reading on Friday, a Heather Feather Review reading in Cleveland that Kleinberg and I did with folks like Mary Biddinger and Aubrey Hirsch on Saturday, and Sturm’s reading in Dayton with Noah Falck and Matt Hart), the refreshing and rad thing about living some days with Sturm and Krutel is there sense of go-go hosting outside of writing stuff, the aforementioned hiking, a pre-Cleveland reading Lake Eerie visit (pics too sexy for here!), general goodtime hang. ABSOLUTELY A BLAST.

UP NEXT: Chicago with James Tadd Adcox

Tyler Gobble On The Road

11 May

This summer, I’m taking a two-month road trip, doing a few readings, playing lots of disc golf, hanging out with cool people. You can read more about that here.

I can’t bear to leave this beautiful blog behind, so to keep me in the loop, I’m gonna meet up with a writer at each of my major stops. I wanna experience this strange city, learn more about the writer, and get a sense of how they live in this place.

And then, I’ll report back here with audio/video, a mini-interview, and a recap by me, plus anything else the writer might wanna feature.

So far, here’s the lineup:

Akron, Ohio: Nick Sturm, Mike Krutel, Sammy Snodgrass

Chicago, Illinois: James Tadd Adcox

Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Katy Gunn

Atlanta, Georgia: Jamie Iredell

I’m also looking to add a few more writers, if any of you have suggestions/requests for the series (MI, KY, TN, NC, and WV are other possible locations).

Also, to help raise money for the series (like buying the writers’ dinner, etc.), I’m doing a poem-postcard fundraiser for the trip. Here is more info on that if you’re interested.

THX FOR BEING SO NEAT

Garden Party Reading in Detroit Tonight

26 Apr

There are so many of our favorite people reading at this thing tonight, I’m even willing to forgive the use of Papyrus on the flyer. If you’re in or around Detroit, you’re not going to want to miss this.

From the facebook event:

Come enjoy readings of poetry and prose in the beautiful Lafayette Greens garden (142 W. Lafayette) in the heart of downtown Detroit on April 26th (a Thursday) at 5:30. The readings will be fun and “edgy,” and quite possibly followed by coney dogs from Lafeyette Coney Island next door (if that’s your thing).

Readers include Detroit authors Ivan Grass and Jeremy Schmall, as well as Aaron Burch (the author of HOW TO PREDICT THE WEATHER), and Nick Sturm (the author of WHAT A TIME WE’RE HAVING).

Come and have a good ‘ole time with us!

Note: The rain location for the event will be at 1064 Seyburn St., just off Lafayette near Indian Village.

WHAT A TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING! by Nick Sturm

13 Apr

WHAT A TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING!

Nick Sturm

io Poetry, $8 (includes shipping), 21 pages

  1. Nick Sturm’s work stumbled into my inbox as I was editing Stoked, these bold Basic Guides, to Truth, to History, to Home Repair, these radical poems that stretch the imagination and capacity to hold onto a poem, the poet behind it, this voice telling you something we hope is important.
  2. And I’ve stumbled around Sturm and his work ever since, flailed in the dark, in love with this style, this voice.
  3. And eventually I put my head on this pillow, okay it’s a chapbook, called WHAT A TREMEDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING! (oh you wild child, all caps AND an exclamation point), each poem that same title, each poem that Sturm-booyeah of mind-energy.
  4. Three rad TREMENDOUSes at iO Poetry.
  5. The titles are repetitive, but more importantly they are reminders.
  6. I asked Nick once why not a long poem, or sectioned, or titles are necessary? or what? He said it is a series. I said a series of what? He rode off on stampede of horses. Or maybe it was a birthday cake.
  7. I think something I love lots and lots is the child-like fascination with the world. No, that’s not right, kinda dumb to say, rather I mean that unfiltered unbogged lens used to look at the surrounding glob, look within it, that thing lost with time of life, of writing, of cracks called sucky moments.
  8. Here is an example: “Take off that ridiculous hat & tell me you love me/is what I want to say but my tongue is not so evolved.” Then it trickles in the weirdness of the tongue, generations of crabs taking apart teeth, before circling back to all that in this youthful heart matters: “which is when the world was the size of a gazebo/with one undying heart at the center of our lives.”
  9. Have you seen that stop-motion video Sturm made for one of the poems. I watch it and think that is how these poems exist. They are tiny movements and wacky objects and the string holding it all together is an emotion that is not fleeting so much as it is fast, not silly as much as it is overwhelming for the speaker, for us, for everyone ever.
  10. What is forever? It is everything, man.
  11. The other day I told someone that I’m interested in poems that are sincere, but then I asked myself HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT OR EVEN WHAT THAT MEANS. I don’t.
  12. Charles Bernstein’s poem “The Republic of Reality,” specifically I’m thinking of the passage “mimicking maniacs like it was/going out of the question, when/you fall upon a fellow with/falters and a fit for a glove:/not the machine in your/eye but the ladder in your/mind…” seems to offer something about what I’m struggling to say here, a poem lending itself to a review trying to lend itself to a hunk of poems. What I mean is these poems are wisps of poetic identity, this chatter about the self, excluding not a thing, reaching and reaching.
  13. Maybe like a poem that starts wacky then punches you in the mouth, dude. “A whale is not a type of information/Neither is a ship’s rigging nor a peach tree/If you were not alive you would already/know this.”
  14. Maybe like the poem that ends it all, burrowing in that place where, yes it is okay to be silly with the lights on: “My dinghy can catch some wicked air/Let’s go to the carwash & chew on the sun/Let’s go to the capital & use our hands/Our hands which are a chance for music” and still get back to what we’re talking about, to never really leave what we’ve always been talking about: THE TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING
  15. Yeah, I know she’s talking about Edward Hoagland and his essay about turtles and about CNF in general, but I can’t get this sentence out of my head, from “The Situation and The Story” by Vivian Gornick, about how these Sturm poems tackle and tangle with objects, weird wild and real, yet there is that speaker, that voice I wanna hug: “The reader realizes that the man who’s using turtles as a stand-in for human intimacy has been there from the very beginning” (p.51).
  16. Maybe like a poem that worries about friendship and self-disappointment, “It is so embarrassing how nothing out there/stays together How playgrounds build up/in our jaws but we never learn to play right.” Or the ending of that poem “Sometimes I just want to give up & say/watch this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
  17. I like Nick Sturm’s poems for their awareness, how they go to the place, bounce around, the voice and its lovely echo, shifty lens, from the spot where it needs to be to the spot where it needs to be.