perhaps this may be news to some of you (it’s not), but i am an absolutely HOPELESS romantic. i write the love poems and i read the love stories and i watch the love movies.
so it only seems fitting that i would eventually find writing that resonates so deeply with me as a hopeless romantic that i’d obsess over it.
in the foreward of richard siken’s poetry collection crush, it’s described as a book about panic, and it really is. i’ve read interview upon interview and analysis upon analysis, everything i can find that had anything to do with this book, and it’s all about panic. fear and desire and love so big that it terrifies you.
i’ve also read that much of the collection was largely inspired by the death of the author’s boyfriend in the 90s, so ouch.
not only is this poetry about love, not only is it about fear or desire or the crushing, consuming weight of infatuation — it’s about being gay and fearing everything you love and watching it all fall apart before you.
this collection is panic. it’s crush, it’s chaos, it’s whirlwind uncertainty felt at a thousand miles a minutes. the words pour out and you don’t know how to control them because maybe some things just can’t be controlled.
i think i connect so much with this collection because i’ve also felt so heavily, so overwhelmingly. i’ve always given so much of myself to people, held so much love in my heart that my entire body is weighed down with it.
the first poem i ever read of this author is “litany in which certain things are crossed out,” and it’s probably my favorite poem ever. i think it’s about forgiving oneself when love falls apart, but maybe i’m wrong, but maybe i don’t need to be right. in the collection, this poem is the last of the first part, and it feels like the collection’s truest beginning. to me, at least, it’s where the story begins. and the last poem of the collection, “snow and dirty rain,” is the end. the two poems reflect each other so well that it’s easy to assume they belong together.
i haven’t exactly been around the block much, but i’ve never read anything that quite captures this level of overwhelming devotion to someone, the ache that longing leaves in your stomach when you love people who can never be yours, when you love people who were yours but never will be again.
this was a very long-winded way of saying i love love, and i love every single word of this little book of love. i love raw and passionate and tight-mouthed. i love carnal, unabashed desire. i love the flutter and the ache and everything else that falls somewhere in the middle of it all.
this is a book about panic – love and loss and death and desire and longing and fleeting – and i am still washed in the aftermath of the attack.