Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Poems for the Holidays: Misery Islands

January Gill O'Neil's Newest Collection Rocks
This is the time of year when buying books for friends and for ourselves just feels right. On the day after the longest day of the year, what better way to spend time than with new poems? And especially these poems. It's a supreme pleasure to hold Misery Islands in my hands. I've been a fan of January O'Neil's work since her first book, Underlife. 

It's difficult, near impossible, to choose just one poem from this collection to share. The words are distilled and emerge from the page pitch perfect. The narrative of a woman after her divorce is not a description of the book, it is merely a layer of what is found here.

Here  is the beginning of one poem that should whet your appetite for more:

WHAT MY KIDS WILL WRITE ABOUT ME IN THEIR FUTURE TELL-ALL BOOK

They will say that no was my favorite word,
more than stop or eat or love.

That some mornings I would rather stay in bed,
laptop on lap, instead of making breakfast,
that I'd rather write than speak.

They will say they have seen me naked.
Front side --- back side---
none of which were my good side.

(to continue reading click here for Misery Islands which are real islands off the north shore of Massachusetts -- near Salem.)

And in case you're still not convinced: I'm neither a mother nor divorced, yet I find this book essential reading. I believe you will, too.


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