Review of things we have in writing (POEMS for Z):
Simple ain’t easy,” Thelonious Monk said, reminding us what melanie farley knows quite well. She is one of the more thoughtful, truly evocative younger poets in America, able to zoom in and zoom out, exploring the concrete in all its abstract glory, threading the everyday details back into a poignant experience of the now. There’s power in things mentioned almost by accident. She reminds us of the “messiness” of the air and precision in fragments, the wonder evoked by wandering, looking, half needing to believe, half bored with the view. She helps us explore the body and its dead zones, its tendency to dissolve into subway rides and lovers hands, anger, acceptance, all of it reappearing in the letters to congresswomen, dead mothers. It’s always a delight to see how she makes even the most simple, direct poem swerve as if we were exploring other people’s houses from the window outside. And these people they are us when we aren’t who we think we are, when we are others. This short series will make you seek more of her work out, and you should.
-Standard Schaefer, author of Water and Power
Essays and Poems
“Endangered Species”; “Untitled”; “& Picture Postcards,” New Work by Philadelphia Poets (in English and Romanian), ed. Daniel Dragomirescu, Contemporary Literary Horizons, 2016, pp. 48-57.
NAIL V, California College of the Arts, “don’t speak i can hear you (early version),” 2009; and, later version, wherein I added a beat, a little piano diddy and called that shizz a song. some quick background: for this sound poem, I asked some homeless folks in NYC to make up a poem for me on the spot, recorded it with a digital recorder.