I am going to write the first part of this week’s ETTO from memory. Rather than a “best of 2017” list, it’s just those parts that really caught the hangnail of my soul as I flicked pages. This, I suppose, is the list of things that will get added to the easily accessible part of my brain — along with Pound, Eliot, Carson, C A Conrad, Claire Louise Bennett, Max Porter, and so on.
The most important line I have read all year is from the start of what seems to be an endless rise towards the heavens by Kaveh Akbar.
It sticks with me completely, and I say it to myself sometimes in moments of quiet, desperate sadness. I wrote about it very briefly here. Omar Sakr gave me something too — the concept of his italicised tongue — the perfect way to say it.
There are two houses — those made by Joyce Chong, in her endlessly drowning poems, and those by Nicole McCarthy who imprints her words over spaces like marking trauma on a map.
Which of course leads us to Hiromi Suzuki who gave us such a great deal of visual poetry this year.
Martin Glaz Serup decided to be be an actual gift — and turn himself into trinkets of modest pleasure — a set of red gloves.
Another line that lives with me is “maybe an eyeroll is the closest I get to god these days” about the boring tide of masculinity faced in a classroom by Stevie Edwards.
Rosebud Ben-Oni’s poem wasn’t just about horses in Iceland. It was also a bit about not being able to fuck people from your past.
I am still
The Pain Scale — which I remember no lines from particularly, but think about the ideas contained within often. The abstraction of pain, the faces, the father.
Here is where is started writing a sort-of-academic book.
I give my breath to a small bird-shaped pipe.
I have forgotten many good things from this year. There was a short story about a girl who had to go into the woods to kill a man so that she might join society properly. And there’s still that poem about fisting that I’ve not been able to recall. It’s easy to forget things, even especially powerful and good things that moved you far away at the time of reading.
Say things, collect the data, before it’s too late.
I do have something now, but I have not been brave enough to take the time to respond to it as I’ve been spending too long with the greedily alive.
I was going to put an REM song here that I’ve been singing snatches of all week, but then I listened to it and UP is really bad album.
So I think we can put EL VY up instead to cover this week, because I’m the man to be.
Thanks for reading Etch To Their Own. It’s nearly been a year. Next year I will do better, smarter things for you, I hope. I will also be available for research and writing project — of any type. If you would like to try out an idea, then please let me know. ETTO was written by @CJEggett with a tired bent back and muddy shoes drying by the fire. It’s nearly over everyone, 2018 will be here soon, and everything will be better. Obvs…