Hello, hello. I know what you’re thinking. OK, maybe I don’t know what you’re thinking and possibly don’t want to know, but if you’re reading this, you may be wondering what on earth you’re supposed to do with a book of poetry. I’ll tell you. I dunno. But that’s the beauty of poetry. It’s not your high school lit class taught by a dry old man in a tweed coat pounding “themes” into your head. It’s about the flexibility, the loveliness but also occasionally the ugliness of language, the images and the imagination, the sharply focused lines but also the contrasts and even contradictions, and you can do whatever you want with it. Plus it comes in a handy fun size that makes a decent paperweight or doorstop. Do me a favor. Pick it up. This is especially easy in a bookstore where you can still touch a book and not have to buy it. Look at it, heft it in your hand(s), sniff it if that’s what you do–I won’t judge. Read a poem or two. Most of them aren’t long, so it won’t take but a couple minutes. Decide it makes a decent doorstop after all. Or–gasp!–decide to read the giants on whose shoulders I’ve dared to stand, and I’ll consider my mission complete.

By the way, I’d love to hear what you think. Just be prepared to do it properly (please see Strunk and White) or defend your decision to do otherwise. Cheers!