Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: Jeffery McDaniel

Those of you who know me know that I spent many years studying poetry in school. Poetry was my first love and it started when I was a little kid. My mother didn't read bedtime stories (well, she totally did, but still) she read bed time poems from a book of poetry for children. The rhythm, the imagery, the pulse - I was hooked.

One of my favorite contemporary poets is Jeffrey McDaniel. I stumbled upon his work because he spoke to the creative writing class my husband was taking at GA Tech (not a school particularly lauded for their liberal arts). My husband thought Jeffrey was brilliant. Here’s my post from last year.

McDaniel’s work if littered with powerful one-liner observations that leave me breathless.

Here is one of my favorite poems:

Mannequin Complex – Jeffery McDaniel
During my formative years,
my mother had this annoying habit
of taking me into shoe stores
and forgetting all about me.

She'd try on heels and pumps,
sandals and beige leather boots,
winking at herself in the mirror,
like she was Cinderella.

I'd crawl into the stockroom
behind the stacks of boxes,
until the last employee clicked
off the lights and headed home.

Then I'd emerge, place a shoe horn
in the palm of my favorite mannequin,
and sleep at her feet gleefully
because she was my flesh and blood.

It ends with such a bitterly sad image. But can’t you picture it perfectly in your mind? I love love love it.
Learn more about him here. You can buy his books from Manic D press (You totally should – I have them all and they are fan-freaking-tastic).

Do you adore contemporary poets? Share! Tell us who rings your bell:

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