Reviews in 200 Words

My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge by Paul Guest

In Poetry on August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Life is slightly horrifying, that’s true. The proof is in living. Listen in on any conversation, anywhere in the world. Things are constantly going wrong or surprising us. Maybe we don’t need to know that when Paul Guest was twelve years old, he was in a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed, but there it is, right on the dust jacket, before we even get in. The list of things that throw us off is unending. Why don’t we ever get used to this stuff? Why do we expect normal and mundane so often? Metaphysical constructs like Texas / and mayonnaise and cole slaw and vegan water parks / and The Bob Dylan Naked Network / and the strain of pernicious insanity / suffered by the curious. Yeah, we’re weird, and weird things happen. It makes you slow down and think about the ones you excuse as “crazy,” or, the ones we all ignore because they’re too grotesque; we’re all pretty grotesque. But there’s hope here, too. Otherwise, life really couldn’t go on. Strangers who stopped me in the street / or paid for my lunch / or wept over their dead son / or asked how many miles / in my wheelchair could I go. 

-Micah Ling


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