Here’s an inspiring little piece for all of us who toil away in relative anonymity, sometimes concerned as to whether or not anyone ever feels the effects of what we do with the bulk of our time. This poem is notable for its sense of fun, for its good heart, its allusion and name-dropping, and its use of one of my favorite words, a word which is itself autological, which is another one of my favorite words. It also has a dedication and an epigraph, and the epigraph is from one of my favorite fiction writers. CRAY-ZAAY!
Corey Mesler was born in Niagara Falls and lives in Memphis, where he and his wife own and operate Burke’s Books. He seems like a real goofball, if you ask me, but he’s also said of his long road toward publishing and writing full-time, “In a very real sense, my words go out into humankind for me.” Pretty sweet. I suppose all of ours do, too. Have a good week! -ed.
GOD BLESS THE EXPERIMENTAL WRITERS
for David Markson
“One beginning and one ending for a book was a
thing I did not agree with.”
Flann O’Brien from At Swim-Two-Birds
God bless the experimental writers.
The ones whose work is a little
difficult, built of tinkertoys
and dada, or portmanteau and
Reich. God help them as they
type away, knowing their readers
are few, only those who love to toil
over an intricate boil of language,
who think books are secret codes.
These writers will never see their names
in Publisher’s Weekly. They will
never be on the talk shows. Yet,
every day they disappear into their
rooms atop their mother’s houses,
or their guest houses behind some
lawyer’s estate. Every day they
tack improbable word onto im-
probable word, out of love, children,
out of a desire to emend the world.