Writing a poem is a lesson in the truest empathy. And to truly have empathy is to truly know power, or at least the only kind of power I’m interested in.
Natalie Lyalin is writing some of the best poems in the world. There is an evil in her gorgeous poem-hearts. She must have sold her heart to the devil to write like this—so beautiful, so funny and so strange. Her images stack and stack down the page without spilling, each line such a bombshell you’ll start reading backward to the first line. These poems are like babies—they will pop out of trees.
One day, when all the continents have been buried in ocean, we’ll slowly float past each other in our little boats, hearing our own hearts in each other’s chest, and watch each other like stars we don’t know are dead.
When I was a boy, I choked on a piece of candy outside the kitchen window for a few minutes while watching my parents making dinner. I thought I was going to die, but I didn’t want to scare them. Our existence was so separate, a dying and a doing well, an outside and an inside. Trey Moody’s poems hover in that cold, wet, refrigerator-lit place between the dying and the doing well, the outside and the inside. His poems are the thoughts of the person you love who is always standing behind you, slowly and silently suffocating. But they’re not afraid to say hello, and please, and I’m scared.
You are so high in the tree.If you jumpyou will live a full lifewhile falling.You will get marriedto a hummingbirdand raise beautiful part- hummingbirds. You will die of cancerin mid-air. I will not lie. It will be painful. You are a brave little boyor girl.
Carol Guess’s poems are sexy, intuitive, angry, and hopeful. These lyrical narratives measure the impossibly small distance between love and fear. They are a reminder that we’re all vulnerable little vessels filled by the people who can break us.