Magnificent Monday Vol. 1

I tend to look forward to Mondays with as much enthusiasm as one might a jab in the eyeball with a hot poker. As such I’m going to attempt a new Monday series called Magnificent Monday in which I share some things that are particularly inspiring, or keeping me creatively aloft.

I am currently a tad bit obsessed with Rebecca Lindenberg’s Love, An Index. Rather than following her on Facebook and Twitter and writing her stalkeresque glowing fan letters, I thought I would make her my inaugural Magnificent Monday feature.

Born of love and loss but built of sheer lyric and narrative sinew, Rebecca Lindenberg’s Love, An Index is the stunning debut volume in the McSweeney’s Poetry Series.

In telling the story of her relationship with poet Craig Arnold, who mysteriously disappeared in 2009 while exploring volcanoes in Japan, Lindenberg re-invents the elegy via lists, cataloging, and indexes that push language to brilliant and unexpected places.

In a featured interview (March 27, 2012) The Believer Logger, Lindenberg says, “I think there is a general misconception that you write poems because you ‘have something to say.’ I think, actually, that you write poems because you have something echoing around in the bone-dome of your skull that you cannot say.”

One of my prose writing and reading friends asked if “prosers” would get into Love, An Index. My answer is yes. If you have loved and lost, if you have felt struggle and have considered how it is to be within and without a relationship, this book will speak to you. If you have wanted to be a braver, fiercer and more muscular writer, this book will be one you return to again and again

Here is an excerpt from Love, An Index:

                                                Litany

O you gods, you long-limbed animals, you
astride the sea and you unhammocked
in the cyprus grove and you with your hair
full of horses, please. My thoughts have turned
from the savor of plums to the merits
of pity—touch and interrupt me,
chasten me with awe. Seed god and husk god,
god of the open palm, you know the doubts
that harrow me, you know my wrists are small.
O you, with glass-colored wind at your call,
and you, whose voice is soft as a turned page,
whose voice returns the air to its forms, send me
a word for faith that also means his thrum,
his coax, and her soft hollow—please, friend gods,
so when he says: You give it all away,
I can say: I am not sorry.

Please go to your local independent bookstore (such as Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland, OR) to order a copy of Love, An Index or order directly from The McSweeney’s Store.

I’d also like to share a song from Dayna Kurtz. Her voice is big, incredible and raw (perhaps if the deepest shade of blue-red could sing it might sound like her?). I bet she’s amazing live. When I heard her for the first time it was one of those ThankYouLordy, OhThankYou moments.

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