Paul Guest: My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge



Me with sing song rhyming schemes My favorites are Dryden and Pope with a little Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath thrown in I ve tried to expand my range but attempts often end in half finished books and a feeling of failure All of which is to say that I was really amazed when I started flipping through this book at a poetry bookstore Open Books in Seattle The opening lines of each poem not only set the tone but somehow capture ou right away like this one from Oblivion Letter Home 2 Thanks for the cucumber lotion and coupons International Organizations you cut out of the Sunday paper though I had to bury them in an old thermos or sink them with bricks and twine so nobody killed me Reading the obituary for Mr Kondrackie was sad though he once beat me with his cane for guessing wrong We all have our faults I thinkI m not clever enough with poetry to explain why that grips me so hard but pretty much every poem in the volume does it to me Guest has been paraplegic since age 12 and writes with a stick in his mouth Many of the poems convey the anger frustration and sexual longing thatou might expect from someone whose physical abilities are so much limited than his emotional and intellectual ones He published a memoir in 2010 One More Theory About Happiness I can t wait to read it when askedto name what I couldn t live withoutwere I marooned on a desert islandI say viable organs Not a book and its pagesslipping from cheap bindingand not an albumthat s not an albumbut summer s totem foreverand not one deft loverand not the red ringletsof her hair let down in a grotto beside the seaTo be consigned thereto that island that hometo the fetish of consolationis nothing I ever wantto want To be stripped of desireas if it were a bandageBut here in the night made of alarmsa train shamblesthrough the darkand it s hard to hear the trees speakingthe language we madefor them Or I didthinking of ouwho taught me regretThere are nights when I dreamof stolen orangesHow we ran away with the sun in our armsAnd there are nightswhen I can t speaknot even to the windin the strange tongue of the dark pine trees. Of new work to cheer about” Guest's first book The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World won the 2002 New Issues Prize in Poetry and his second book Notes for My Body Double won the 2006 Prairie Schooner Book Prize His memoir One More Theory About Happiness will be available in May 201.

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E Guest s dense linked writing style although it took a few poems to get used to it This book has been recommended to me many times I often see it at bookstores and I ve even seen people I don t know reading it Almost every poem is one stanza and there were some times I really could have used a stanza break to catch my breath Overall one stanza suits the dense waterfalling words Although I like Guest s poem titles when they are specific User s Guide to Physical Debilitation and Elegy for the Lumbering Monster I don t like the titles that could be exchanged for other titles Poem Written to Replace Another and Poem Written Outside Wintry MixMy favorites in this bookBad Mood This poem really captures the bad mood Some days just feel like everything is wrongValentine There are stanzas in this poem I like the dreaminess of the poem and love how he describes himself on the ocean floor with a shell and clawsMy Crush The description of pain in the body as shimmering and the spines full of wire were beautiful There is a gorgeous longing in thisJob This poem is really funny and sad I love poems about working in an office In many ways this is a fantastic piece of work The author has been paralyzed from the neck down for many ears and is still uite pissed off about it In the first half of the collection he hides his anger with irony and a kind of discursiveness so popular in poetry today After a while however he seems to no longer be able to avoid the issue and trips off into fantasies of if I still had a functioning body and the like He dreams about affairs and slowly grows pissed off about people s attitudes toward him All the while his pacing remains brilliant and his turns of phrase endlessly uniue though sometimes at the borders of nonsense By the end the self pity is a little overwhelming and Silk and Steel you realize this is not a manou would want to hang out with but it is one whose next book will be read cover to cover as well I have to admit I m not the world s most patient reader of poetry I get bored kind of uickly if the poems are too esoteric and I have a hard ti. Nt collection a compendium of honesty strange beauty and pain poems Louis Gluck calls “urgent and moving” and Robert Haas calls “vibrant with news of the world seen from an angle of experience not available to most of us” Mary Karr says “Guest is a spirit to be reckoned with Here’s a body.

A collection of 48 poems by a uniue individual Dark intriguing and amusing this poetry about his slightly horrifying situation will at least stir our emotions Normally I m not that into poetry but Paul s poems all of them infused with emotions rooted in the accident that left him paralyzed at age 12 are incredible This man is pure genius I chose this based on the title alone and it didn t disappoint there is than slightly horrifying knowledge here and surprises around every corner These poems are funny angry contemporary in a way I don t always like but liked very much in this volume I didn t always understand them but that didn t prevent enjoyment and their fast pace for the most part fit the angry romantic original often cruel and sarcastic intelligent and poignant voice of Guest whose other work I must find and read as well This work is full of thoughtful clever and unexpected imagery and ideas and even the poems ou start that feel potentially familiar often come to be strange by the end in a good way these wake Rumunia. Koniec złotej epoki you up dareou to say they re not true This is a smorgasbord of varieties of suffering as well as enjoyment basically life in a book illuminated and refreshed Exhilarating and definitely not like anyone else ou ve read I ll be the first to admit I m not one for Poetry unless read to me So to buy a book of poems for myself seemed a bit absurd The title caught me and made me shell out the clams but the poems well those are keeping it in my bookshelf Paul s style which remember here I m not a poetry gal is fun It took me a few poems to get into his rhythm But once in step brilliance ensues I m sure my favorite poem will change daily however right now I m in love with Audio Commentary Track 1 How perfect is the line That we all forgot to rig the microphonesreally does challenge the audienceto stay with the story by reading lips Mixed with humor snippiness and emotion these poems speak to everyone A powerful poetic eye that switches between microscope and telescope to see the everyday in vivid and challenging context It s a good book I lik. “A Paul Guest poem likes to pull out fast in the first line then zigzag from one eye opening image to another A high speed innervating trip all the way” Dallas Morning News Whiting Award winning and acclaimed poet Paul Guest’s My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge is an audaciously brillia.

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Paul Guest's first book The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World won the 2002 New Issues Prize in Poetry and his second book Notes for My Body Double won the 2006 Prairie Schooner Book Prize In 2010 Ecco will publish his memoir One More Theory About Happiness The recipient of a 2007 Whiting Award he is a visiting professor of English at the University of West Georgia