Monday, November 20, 2006

So two of my friends who also happen to be poets ask me to write “a little intro thingie” for their book of collaborations. I was astonished. How could I shed more light on these joyful poems that hasn’t already been shed by the poems themsevles? The truth is, I can’t. But I reckon if they put this thingie in the beginning of the book, where intro thingies are usually placed, I could put you in the mood or prepare you for what you are about to read. Shanna and Shafer are both native Texans. Both escaped to New York. Both, no doubt, did this at least in part to write or find poems. Or themselves. Both have a faith in companionship that not too many poets have. Both have a generousness in their poems that still fewer poets care to have. Because, I daresay, they know the poem doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to you. Yeah, you. As they write: “All you are is a project./All you are is a hobby./All you are is a/a trellis-and-vine is all you are.” What does that mean, oh friends of the poets who got this book out of generousness? It means poems are people and people are poets. What does that mean, oh poet-friends who got this chapbook out of friend- or kinship or neither? It means get up on that trellis, comrades, because that last “you”—see the double “a” pause there on the line break? hear that expectation?—that above-quoted “you” is a collective one.


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