i have poems in NOO (ole leftover orphan orphan poems) - chosen by my dear Coconut pressmate Lauren Ireland
I HAVE RECENTLY DISCOVERED that I am an actual adult. A secret about adulthood that no one tells you is: there is no map. There’s no built-in astrolabe or rudder or even (if you’re me) a sense of direction to steer you. I don’t even recognize the constellations anymore. So I’ve made my own.
Here are the stars I steer by—poets whose work instructs and commands, encourages and questions, fucks up and calms down. They light up the Big Nothingness with startling contrasts and deeply basic, beautiful, ugly humanity—and, like constellations, they can shift shape and meaning with changing seasons, moods, needs.
Bruce Covey’s calm and careful instructions draw the line between sinister and sweet. And then they slowly, slyly blur that line, a helpful exercise in understanding exactly how flexibly the legs of the compass can stretch and bend. Hold on tight to your flotation device.
Like an otherworldly echo of the Cumaean Sibyl, Molly Dorozenski leads you to the emotional lower worlds and back again with poems that prophesize the disorienting depths of divinity and boredom, certainty and doubt. Meanwhile, you turn 1000 and don’t even notice.
Justin Marks is a blinking polestar—dark behind the passing cloud of chilly beauty, then bright again with burning fear—the North Star in an otherwise blank sky you must fill in yourself, eyes closed, no hands on the wheel. Because you will and because you can.
Beauty is terror, said Aristotle of Stagira. OK, said Shelly Taylor, here are some terrifying poems. But you have to keep your eyes open to read them—no dead reckoning for you, because this is uncharted territory. You should let Shelly read them to you. Just follow her voice.
LAUREN IRELAND grew up in southern Maryland and coastal Virginia. She is the author of Deal Lil Wayne(Magic Helicopter Press 2014) and The Arrow (Coconut Books 2014). She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an editor at Lungfull! Magazine. With Molly Dorozenski, she co-edits Ghostwriters of Delphi. She lives in Seattle with her husband and her husband's cat.