I often tell people that they will find things in my books unlike anything else they’ve read elsewhere. And though it sounds cliche, I mean it. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes bad…everyone’s a critic after all, including myself.
Truth be told, I loathe most modern poetry. Everyone I tell that to finds that either hilarious and or shocking but it’s true. I hate it. I hate your poetry. I guess as a writer/editor/publisher that makes me more normal than I realize…but it takes something powerful to move me or catch my fancy.
Poems, in my opinion, should act as armor-piercing bullets (the armor being all the apathy/snark we’ve built up over the years) and if they’re not splattering my brains all over the walls or causing me to bleed out from my punctured heart, then I want nothing to do with them. A poem should rock your goddamn foundation. Anything less is a waste of time.
A journalist asked me one time if I’d ever killed anyone. It was said both in jest and with a genuine sense of curiosity. They asked after reading my first book, Demon in the Mirror.
At first, I was offended. My first thought was: do mainstream authors have to put up with shit like this?! Are people asking Clive Barker if he’s ever killed anyone?!
But then I realized that if I elicited that kind of response/query from someone reading my work, then my mission, at least partially, was accomplished. Sure, they might think I’m nuts but at least I made them think…
Too often poetry is pigeonholed into rigid categories and cast aside as garbage. Hell, most book stores have less than a shelf dedicated to the subject and mostly classical authors at that…yet there are so many of us still writing it.
I share these pictures (above) as a reminder that not all poetry is roses and rainbows. Not all stanzas are love-lorn. Not all verse is soapbox material. Not all prose is meant to be “slammed.”
Sometimes a poem is a love letter and often enough a love letter is a bullet in the head.
Thanks for reading.