Tuesday, May 22, 2007



the beautiful days by a.b. spellman
(Alamala Press, NYC, 2006)

Let me go out on a limb & say there is a poetry that does not come / naturally to those who write it. I don't mean by this that there is a style or structure imposed--rather that one day, or after several days, Gregor Samsa awoke & decided he would be a poet.

Poetry finds you; you don't go & find it because you wouldn't know where to look. But occasionally you stumble across it, & the guys seem so hip, or so unapproachably gay, & the chicks have those throwaway lines that your mother told you would never tumble from a virgin's mouth, & it all seems so attractive.

So you buy a secondhand Corona, & a sheaf of cheap paper from the supermarket. Or maybe back to the basics, & a notebook in a plain colour, unostentatious, but a shirt to go with it, without pockets, or perhaps with, but of a size that only a pack of cigarettes could be accommodated there, & so it is not unnatural to carry a notebook around, in the hand, where everybody can see it & say I always knew he had a big one.

& if you have a way with words you can get away with it. & away with it & make your way quite successfully in a related field & even become famous. & a way down the track somebody decides hey, who's left that we haven't done away with, & they rerelease your book with its foreword by a famous poet & now everybody sees it & says I didn't realise it really was that small.


Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths. He's also small.


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