Justin: i started reading ken rumble's book last night. pretty good. what'd you think of it?
Jules: i like it! i also think it may be better as a chapbook, not a full book, if you know what i mean
Justin: right. i'm only about 1/3 and i keep thinking i'm much further, so i see what you're saying
Jules: he does an interesting thing, mixing so much D.C. geography with fragmented stanzas/line breaks and tight little bits of imagery. i just think that it may stop offering the reader anything new 3/4 into it but I might just need to re-read it.
Jules: like, i'd definitely buy his next book and hope that there is a less direct theme because i think that his writing style is enough cohesion to not have to have a very structured theme to his book.
Justin: right. his writing has a lot of energy. i like that. and if a poet has that quality, a theme can just get in the way of the energy doing more interesting things
also, now that i know how sweet he is as a real person, i want good thing to happen for him! so i'm excited to read what he does next
Justin: me too. actually, i'm excited to finish his current book.
that thing about liking the person and wanting them to do better work, or letting your like of them effect your reading of their work...that always bothered me, but i'm coming around to it. i'm beginning to accept that the life of the poet plays a very crucial role in understanding their work. or can at least.
Jules: i know what you mean. i've been thinking about that a lot recently. let's have a real conversation in the car to PA. because for the first time in my life i found myself, and this is terrible, almost rooting against someone's work because i know they are not the nicest person or whatever...but then i had to stop myself and reprimand myself because so many of the poets we love were drunks or drug addicts or suicidal- and they clearly hurt people in their life tremendously who cared about them. but their works is tremendous and that’s what matters and so many amazing artists were narcissistic assholes
I feel a little bit uncomfortable having that post up there just because I really did enjoy Ken's book and to be honest, the ending isn't that familiar to me now. I actually plan on reviewing it if I get the chance in the near future. Though saying that seems like backpeddling which I don't want to do. Anyways, I find, though, that for almost ALL books I've read recently, I've been wishing they were 1/4 shorter. But that's also indicative of my taste- if 1/4 of the poems seem weaker then that may just by my personal preference for certain poems. Or do you guys have this feeling often?
It might just be because I am reading a lot of first-books. Seriously, though, do you often wish recent poetry books were a bit shorter?
I definitely didn't feel that way about Willis's Meteoric Flowers, but I'm a sucker for her work and it's also her 4th book, I believe.
Anyways, I'd need to re-read Ken's book to say something intelligent. What I did love about it was how he could have so many fragmented lines, fleeting images and emotions, sort of torn across the page, yet withhold a narrative in terms of the cohesiveness of the speaker and his interactions with the various women/people in his life.