Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I am dreaming my next novel. It's a strange and careful time because what I read and think and see is sure to affect me in some abstract or even direct way as I find this novel's path.
Today I'm reading GRIMALKIN, a collection of poetry from the now-rather-famous Thomas Lynch. Lynch, a Michigan undertaker, wrote the much-acclaimed book, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, about his life and work. But in 1994 he was not a famous essayist, and his work was known only by a lucky few.
The book itself was sent to us way back in 1994 by Robin Robertson, a Scottish poet and editor friend. His note simply says: "Here's the mortician from Michigan as promised. --Robin"
Lynch's poems are dark and sometimes cruel, as in "For the Ex Wife on the Occasion of Her Birthday," or funny and true, like "Grimalkin," his wry elegy for a not-yet-dead cat he hates. (I bet it's dead, now.)
You can read about Lynch here. But best to check out his work. I reviewed THE UNDERTAKING when it came out a decade ago and recommend it. But it is GRIMALKIN I'll read to bolster my dreams.