Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

07 May 2012

About Last Night.

I know I've been talking about my friend Greg a lot lately on this blog. I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago for my series of interviews on art (more of those to come soon, I promise!).

But, I recently got his chapbook Last Night Was Worth Talking About.

And it is so good. I think I might like it even better than his book Heavy Petting. The work in it is really marvelous. For example, the book contains a poem called "Poem as Happy Hour" which begins:
This poem yells I have met so many people
I will never love
. Slosh slosh slosh. Can you
taste the alcohol in this poem? It's darker
than well water, sweeter than the sprinkler
planted between your thighs. This poem
whispers Life needs to wash behind its neck.
Greg's poems know they're poems, and the poems – before they've even grown into poems yet – talk to him and he writes down what they say. Greg doesn't just write down the poems, though. He writes down the fact that they talk to him. He is not the first to do this, of course, but the work is original and fascinating.

And the poems are filled with love and longing, too. Take his poem "Things My Girlfriend Says to Me", which ends:
I have a hard time writing poems that don't mention her hair,
so let me just get it out: her bangs fall like Spanish moss.
This is a good thing.
The other day I was reading Greg's new chapbook in public and a guy I had just met that day asked me if he could read what I was reading. I passed him Last Night Was Worth Talking About and my new friend told me that he once tried to write poetry. It was no good, he told me. I rhymed too much. Yeah, I said. Greg doesn't worry about rhyming. Instead, he repeats phrases. Ideas return insistently back to the eye, as though he isn't done with them or as though they are not done with the reader. It is a kind of rhyme that isn't rhyme at all, of course.

Okay, one last bit. This is from a poem titled "You Will Regret Coming Back the Most":
There are a thousand people in me. I had a couple of hours
to spare so I took off my pants & counted. I used a calculator
because I only have ten fingers, ten toes, one belly button.
These thousand of me, they don't smell the same but they eat
the same strawberry Pop Tarts. They all hate reality television.
The thousand of me stare at their hands when we think about lighting
a cigarette. Off topic: I build a time machine for my recently built
time machine. My second time machine takes my first time machine
back to when I thought about making a time machine outside
of a lemonade stand I never built. I carried my time machine home—
it sat happily in my garage. Today you are always here.
There are too many unnecessary things in life:
a thousand of me, million dollar homes, Big Gulp sodas, herpes.
I take my time machine back to the first time I realized girls
were worth looking at. I wait for them to tell me
how handsome I am. I wait & I wait & then I am growing so old
I forget what I am waiting for.

You can check out Last Night Was Worth Talking About here at the NAP website.