And when they ask me
what happened to you, I will tell them
without hesitation that one day
your heart just stopped.
– from “Condolences”
My old poetry professor, Doyle Wesley Walls, used to get on my case for using what he called “dollar words”, or rather, words that made people have to grab a dictionary. He would say, “Chris, nickel and dime ’em.” It’s true. If you want to reach the everyperson audience than you have to be able to write like the everyperson. And it’s not always easy. Logen Cure’s Still, from Finishing Line Press, is playful in its simple everyperson honesty.
He crashed at our house that night, and the next morning
my girlfriend left for work, still tripping.
I found him sprawled on the living room floor,
one arm slung over his eyes.
Allen, I said, Hey, Allen,
until he lifted his arm to squint up at me.
You can come get in bed with me if you want.
– from “Allen”
I read a lot of poetry, and sometimes I get caught up in people trying to metaphor their way out of a poem, or a subject matter – and yes, I used “metaphor” as a verb. Logen Cure doesn’t even head in that direction. These pieces are real world conversations that give an almost intimate, yet arms length look into life’s most honest relationships.
To see the sky in North Carolina,
you have to look up.
What comes for you here
– from “Residence or Refuge”