You're Going to Miss Me When You're Bored

Justin Marks. Barrelhouse (SPD, dist.), $15 trade paper (76p) ISBN 978-0-9889945-1-5
"Things are/ as they are(n't)" in this second full-length from Marks (A Million in Prizes) where the quotidian happily lounges on the same expansive lawn as the supernatural. In these vivacious poems, the speaker professes a belief that "the maker/ should not be able to see/ himself in his art," but is quick to admit "I see/ nothing but myself." In the wrong hands this concept would fester, an overworked trope—yet Marks handles the subject deftly, inspecting the simultaneous excitement and terror behind making art in an era wherein "The difficulty of being a ‘person'/ is ‘sincerity.'" While it would be easy to despair over this depersonalization, this idea that "the self is a copy to sell The concept/ and the form," Marks instead celebrates genuine, everyday thoughts and feelings that breed familiarity. Within the space of a single poem, we might bounce from the idea of "poets so obscure/ they have emoticons for names" to such commonplace meditations as: "The difference between a tickle/ and blood is inches." Although Marks's universe is permeated with joy, he never hesitates to allow the portentous to seep in; even death ("A very real/ idea") is "Language etched/ into fiber optics Which is to say, light." (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
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