The reason no one likes poetry is that it reminds them of poetry. No one wants to think about that shit. People like Star Wars because it’s the Godfather set in space with giant talking animals who carry guns and punch droids and swordfight with neon pool noodles. People like the Godfather because, frankly, it scares the hell out of them, and they’re just glad to be alive when it’s over. Each of these films carries its own premise (more or less), its own genre, its fanatics, its particular demographic, its moments of augustness and scores of squinting quirks. These films will live forever largely due to the fact that they absorb us to the core; they make us so happy to be breathing when the credits finally roll that we probably didn’t even notice how happy we had been to be hearts—present and pumping blood—during the two or three hours before, effectively suspending all notions of space and time.
What does all of this mean? Honestly, I’m not really sure, so what I will do now is present you, reader, with a small but diverse group of artists who consistently manage to keep me from thinking about art long enough that I might thoroughly enjoy it—artists who for me effectively suspend space and time. Each is introduced here with random and possibly little-known facts that their names bring to mind. Some are even true.
+ERIC BAUS rocks the party but the party is a world that has never existed, brought into the world through language that was only rumored to have been conceived at the bottom of a dream of a virtual and unmappable sea.
+KRISTINA MARIE DARLING and CAROL GUESS are clocks disguised as the ol’ nine-volt-battery-on-the-tongue dare, but they are in actuality the hesitation wince just before contact and the all-day residual taste of lightning.
the thing about Howie Good
is that he is everywhere at once.
that he easily goes unnoticed,
like the painting
the one that you once
thought was the most
beautiful thing you had ever seen.
+NEAL KITTERLIN carves sentient statues out of soap and mud and tinder. Sometimes he dresses up “like bulls, like swans, like field mice and swarms of bees.” The text on the t-shirt he is wearing in the movie of this column reads “This here is for your own good.”
+JASMINE DREAME WAGNER hates having to answer that question. Yes, that one. Yes, it is her real name already. She draws pop bombs on your face when you are dead or asleep or anytime between Mondays and Sundays—or during seasons. She makes music, too. Deal, punks.
+J. A. TYLER twists words into bows, sentences in twine, and twine into rope for building bridges that span shoulders and ear holes and eyes. Walk with him. Butter your hot-ass toast with his sweet, sweet-ass words. “Mmmmmmmm,” you say. “Muddy, yet luscious.” Indeed.
+AMANDA DEO reaches for your hand during the sappy parts of the movie because it is poetic. She kills you during the funny parts and then stashes the body under the seats because it makes for a good poem.
+CHAD REDDEN is that mixtape left in your mailbox by some creepy stranger while you sleep. Damned if it isn’t one of the sexiest mixtapes you’ve ever heard, though. You think you’re in love, but he's married to the game.
+SCOTT BUGHER is his own rival gang. The text on his t-shirt reads “It’s harder than it looks.” What’s so funny about that is that he is on the radio.
+JD NELSON measures everything in 45-minute increments because that’s what fits on one side of a cassette. He makes verse that looks like text-based art. His keyboard makes owl sounds when he types on it.
+TRACY JAGER will punch you in your bulldozer if you try bringing that mess to her hood. In the future, there is a petition drive to name her as the official spirit animal of the Worldwide States of Euro-Canada. She makes art that reads like metaphysical verse, which, in a way, is an unfortunate description, because it makes more literal sense than most of the rest of the world.
David Tomaloff is a very important something. His work has appeared in several chapbooks, anthologies, and in fine publications such as Cloud Rodeo, Metazen, Heavy Feather Review, The Northville Review, CBS Chicago, Necessary Fiction, HTML Giant, A-Minor, Pank, and elimae. He is also co-author of the collaborative poetry collection YOU ARE JAGUAR, with Ryan W. Bradley (Artistically Declined Press, 2012). Send him threats: davidtomaloff.com