Dispatch from the Future: PoemsDispatch from the Future: Poems by Leigh Stein
My rating: 4/5 cats
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life is only too short if you are having a good time.

those of you who know me know that i am not really a poetry girl. the last poetry book i tried to read, i got 3/4 through before i realized “i am not really having any fun reading this.” so i stopped. and i never stop reading books, even when they are horrible. but it is actually not all that hard to give up on a poetry book, it’s not like you are going to wonder forever how it ends.

but this book is by leigh stein! and her novel,The Fallback Plan, blew me away, and this made me think i could enjoy poetry if she was at its helm. and when she started incorporating choose-your-own-adventure references in the middle of her poems, and even opened the first part with an epigraph from one of those books, i knew i was going to be a fan.

my favorite poem overall is addendum to the previous dispatch:

I just remembered every single thing I’ve ever done
and now I’m embarrassed. I want my afterlife

guaranteed, so I have ordered a tomb built at Giza

for my remains. They are as follows: all my clothes,
my harmonica, my body, letters to my enemies.

The dictionary says you can refer to everyone

who will be alive in the future as prosperity so
Dear Prosperity, I used to live in the future,

too, but i fear the past is a brushfire

and I am a prairie. Now that i have what I asked for
I see I should have been more specific.

but she also has wonderful isolated lines within poems that manage to be cute and sad all in the same breath:

I would love to come back as a faucet. Or a radiator or an ice cube tray shaped like a dozen little fish. Everybody loves those.

oh, and the oregon trail poem made me, dare i say?? LOL.
nicely done.

i am definitely glad to have given poetry another chance, and i am disappointed that this book didn’t make it into the goodreads awards finals, even though i voted for it in the semifinals. damn you, mary oliver!! but you should read it anyway, “you.”

i will leave you with this line, from the opening poem:

The great R.A. Montgomery once wrote,
“Suddenly you’re surrounded by eleven Nodoors,” and I
guess what i’m trying to do here is ruin any hope
you may have had of coming out of this alive.

go, now.

read my book reviews on goodreads

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