You Haven’t Known An Easy One Exactly

Posted by @ 6:49 pm on July 23rd, 2009
The Difficult Farm by Heather Christle ships August 2009

The Difficult Farm by Heather Christle ships August 2009

Once while I was eating some Pop Tarts, everyone was saying that they always went around wishing they were something else. Like ants or marmots or Joshua trees. Not me, I said. Really? Heather Christle asked. She seemed very incredulous, an incredulity of startling emotional intensity. You never, she said, want to be anything else? Not even a boat? Well, no, I said. Then I said something like: there are so many trick ends and trap cliffs in being human; it takes all my time figuring out how to be human; why would I want to waste that time wishing I were a boat?

But the manner by which she’s right and I’m wrong is the matter of what’s amazing about Heather Christle’s poetry. Her work, in its confident absurdity, shows us just how good at being a human someone who wants to be a marmot boat can be. By good at being a human I mean, of course, good at taking a nap near you or gently tossing pine needles at you from the other side of the airport shuttle. Which is not to say that these poems instruct, or that poems should instruct, as is often suggested by statements correlating literature with humanity. Heather Christle’s poems will not teach you, or me, how to be any less of a jerk. What they will provide, however, is incentive. How? By reminding us that all the people around us are just as interesting as the person inside of us. They are all at every moment consumed by daydream and head fuzz, and below that they are really quite soft in the heart, no matter the Cheetos dust or what you think you can tell, no matter if it’s that one or these two.

In other words, your head goes exactly like this: “If Heather Christle’s poems are this delightful and generous and so tied to how the mind aspires toward delight and generosity and so inclusive in their understanding and so much like people I have known who have eaten a sandwich with too much mayonnaise just because it seemed like the person making the sandwich was having a bad day, who have worn a coat maybe a little small because it was a silly thing to do, who have poked me with a Christmas light, then maybe it means that a lot of people are thinking in secret as boldly sweet as Heather Christle’s poems and that means I should be nicer to everyone because it will make people open up to me and share their Heather Christle thoughts with me and then I will have a Heather Christle poem kind of life which will be fun and the color of sherbert.”

If you are interested at all in being nice to anyone, you will want to pre-order from Octopus Books Heather Christle’s first book of poetry: The Difficult Farm.

Here is a poem by Heather originally published in Front Porch:

The Small Husband
–Heather Christle

If you want to talk to your husband
and your husband is very small
you lie down on the floor
and the floor is cold
but you warm it
and you look at the wall
where it meets the floor
You are five to eight inches
from the wall
and there are no other noises
Traffic everywhere has stopped
for the holiday
but the parade does not come by
for another couple of hours
and you are neitherĀ  hungry
nor too full
and your body is a long silk bag
full of lightweight batteries
arranged on the floor
so it touches the floor
in the maximum number of places
and math has real world value
it turns out
which is not all that surprising
and there are weekends and desires
gestating in your throat
pink and hairless
like mammals
and you close your eyes
and say things to your husband
but he is small
no make him even smaller