“catalog of unabashed gratitude”

ross gay

I’ve never felt like I know how to read poetry. I, in fact, very distinctly remember saying, during a class on composition, “I have not an ounce of poetry in my soul.” Which was, in retrospect, a poetic way to put it, so maybe I’ve got a couple grams floating around in there.

Nevertheless, poetry is not my strong suit. Take this book as evidence: at this word count, a good estimate for how long it’d take me to read is “an afternoon, if that.” And yet, here I am, having taken nearly a year to work my way through it.

I think I like that, though. I think it’s better to have taken my time, and given each piece space, instead of trying to cram it all into my head in one go. It works better that way, when you leave room for a line to echo in your head.

I’m not writing this in the style of ross gay. I am, however, writing it in my style, tinged with more of his improvisational, stream-of-consciousness feel. And hey, it’s always neat to try something new. As far as new things go, unabashed gratitude never hurt anyone. Give it a try.1

  1. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.