I will admit that the English language and I are not always on the best of terms. Too often I get angry at it for it’s inexactitude and complications and fucked-up spellings, jaded from the abuse it regularly weathers by unskilled writers, and thus, as an act of revenge, it abandons me at my hours of need.
If you think I’m down on the English language, that is nothing compared to how hard I can be on poetry. I am brutal. It can’t be weird, or I don’t like it. I can’t rhyme, or I don’t like it. It can’t be cliched, or I don’t like it. It has to have a good closing line, or I don’t like it.
And then yesterday, I read the from the online of Richard Siken’s book of poetry, Crush, the poem “You Are Jeff”, and it’s like my world has changed.
Once a year I engage in what I like to refer to as Charlie Bucket-ism.
For those of you not familiar with Charlie Bucket because you’re all a bunch of heathens, he is the intrepid and plucky hero of childhood literature staple Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wee Charlie lives in extreme poverty, but once a year he splurges an entire dollar (maybe a quarter? I don’t know. I remember it’s some ridiculously small amount of money, but Roald Dahl wasn’t even American, so it’s all very confusing) on a Willy Wonka chocolate bar. This is of course before he (spoiler alert!) wins a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s factory and then inadvertently ends up inheriting the whole thing by proving his purity of spirit or some such childishly wonderful bullshit.
The point is, once a year I, like Charlie, buy my proverbial chocolate bar in the form of a trashy romance novel that I read on my vacation to Sandy Island. The only difference is that while these books are, like Charlie’s chocolate bars, delicious, they also cause my brain to have minor seizures and actually atrophy my smarty-parts. So really it’s like the Charlie Bucket analogy, if Charlie only had one chocolate bar a year because otherwise he’d go into a diabetic coma. (I’m not sure how this works, exactly. Maybe he can only afford one insulin shot a year? Clearly, I have never had diabetes.)