John Casey • Novelist and Poet
I was told it only has worth
when it's written in a very, very circumlocutory manner,
or enveloped in obscurity,
or laced with impossibly complex analogies
and with words that don't belong together together.
Singularly weird and nearly incomprehensible
are what seem to make it most valuable to them.
Better to describe love as adventitious candy corn than ethereal sunshine.
Better to describe someone in despair as an obfuscated polecat than a wintered soul.
Obfuscated polecat—now that baby right there just might win you some kinda golden trophy.
I was told in fact, by them, you really shouldn't talk about love at all,
or about loss—clichés in and of themselves—unless
you are prepared to twist them in such alluringly demiurgic fashion
that there is nary a spider-silk thread of a connection left
between what you've written and what you actually meant.
They think they have an ace up their sleeve,
a sure way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
But all bets are off. You know why?
'Cause they're not looking for
what I'm looking for.
And they are all the same—incongruously lost in the prosaism of universally prescriptive
zealous sophistication, aversion to logic, and abstruse reflective cogitation.
We don't need their silly trophy. I want us to be on the same page.
I want you to relate. I want us to get something good out of it.
And I want it to be the raw, unfettered truth. So anything goes.