Tom Brady had a ponytail once

circa 28 Points: A Basic Guide by Nick Sturm

  1. I saw Nick Sturm once in a dive bar, I think. He had a ponytail. I thought, “I like guys with ponytails.”
  2. The cover of A Basic Guide is either a yarn mobile, the meanderings of a dragonfly when stimulated by a drop of sugar, or a rough sketch of a sailing frigate. It’s by Amy Borezo, who has a history of time and motion, intersections of paper, interactions of words…It seems an apt choice for a book cover, this artist.
  3. I have a ponytail. My enjoyment of ponytails is entirely self-serving. It makes me feel less alone.
  4. A guide is an appropriated form. The world is potential structure. Lorrie Moore wrote a guide. Ander Monson wrote a guide. Here’s a cool one by Melanie Rae Thon. A guide seems to imply an alembic of knowledge, this idea possibly used as ironic, as conceit, or as straight up earnest.
  5. It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not gentle shower, but thunder. We need Sturm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
  6. ponytail 1
  7. There is a wistful nostalgia here that kindles of Richard Brautigan. This longing is transferred through an accumulation, not through explicit yearning, so then A Basic Guide becomes a sort of kitchen drawer or curio cigar box—it shows, but yet stores away, creates a poetic idyll, a space: horses, petticoat, jubilee, levee, these types of wonderful that might be leaking away, might be in need of storage, little mysteries to keep in a Mason jar.
  8. “The way the kiss stays locked in the machine.”
  9. “…but the past was like a bleached coral reef.”
  10. Once my ponytail was “He’s sort of a cute hippie.” Now my ponytail is all, “age-inappropriate/flaky/I bet he has a ‘writer satchel’/guy you see at AWP” sort of thing. But that’s OK. Things change. Like can be hard, but there are beautiful things, too, you know. READ MORE >
Author Spotlight & Random / 1 Comment
July 17th, 2013 / 10:40 am