Friday, September 13, 2013

Poemland - Chelsy Minnis

When I first read through this short collection of poems I didn't like it at all. Yet I couldn't quell my compulsion to immediately read through it again. The second time around I loved every word. 

Minnis is a radically new category of poet. This category might only ever contain one poet. They at least appear to be semi-autobiographical, but rely heavily on absurd (and often disturbing) images. She uses similes where convention screams metaphor. She shows and doesn't tell. The poems regularly rely on the word "thing" which I have been berated for using since middle school. It all works beautifully.

In Minnis's world everything is off-kilter or blatantly inane. Damaged people hop through terrible circumstance. Without question her greatest skill is imagery. I also enjoy the blunt way she makes statements: "You should cry-hustle because it is good to cry-hustle" and "You are never going to be dead enough!" Although my favorite line, and the current background on my phone, is "But it is sad to be your own misogynist."

Poetry has for quite a while been boring with annoying illusions of grandeur. If I have to read one more poem about how beautiful and difficult raising children can be (with lots of images of trees and flowers) I'm going to explode. With poets like Minnis poetry is getting interesting again. Literature is going in an interesting direction.

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