If you haven’t listened to this one, do. It’s heartbreaking.
With the exception of the collected works of Philip Larkin and a couple of things by Ogden Nash I am not a real big fan of poetry, so the fact that I am called upon to set and style a new poem once a week is either some kind of karmic lesson or yet another example of how everything in my life is so terrible and oppressive and how can I even put up with it all etc. In any event, Awl poetry editor Mark Bibbins may be the closest thing we have to a secret weapon: His selections are always the kind of thing I am interested in seeing whether I wind up liking them or not. I try not to call out specific poems since I don’t want to give the impression that some are better than others (because, again, I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about when it comes to poetry and, unlike every other subject where that is the case, I do let that keep me from making pronouncements about it), but this week’s work is pretty remarkable. I cannot promise you that you will like it, but I would urge you to give it a shot; it is the kind of performance that, when you get to the end, makes you give out a little gasp. And if you’re not into it, perhaps you can find something else here that suits you better.