I'm working on a new poem, the first in at least a couple of months, and it's about death. Every poem I write is about death. Sometimes it's the death of a relationship, or a feeling, but a lot of the time it's just plain death.
It's not that I'm afraid of death. I mean, I don't want to die, but severe brain damage, paralysis, dismemberment, senility and various other undesirable states are way more horrifying. Death, self-death, seems relatively easy. It just interests me conceptually, this death thing happening at every possible scale in time and space, not just among humans and squirrels.
When I was a kid, and my parents relayed the news of a death in the family to me, not anyone very immediate but possibly a grandparent, I remember feeling kind of excited. I didn't make this known, of course, but I didn't cry either. I think my parents interpreted this as my not understanding. And I guess that's true in some sense. But I can still see the logic in it, appropriate or not--I didn't feel close to said person, or that it would affect me greatly. What was mildly thrilling was suddenly feeling like I was participating in life on a higher level than before. I'd seen funerals and deaths in movies but had had no direct access to that experience. So it was like this combination of novelty, and feeling special (since not everyone gets to go to a funeral every day (ugh)), but also communing with those who had also passed through this rite. Similar to flying on a plane for the first time, or my first kiss.
Does anyone know if there is a word for this, in German or something? It's not schadenfreude, since that is taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune, when I was more taking pleasure in my own.
The new issue of Open Letters is humungoid, and fictional. Ha ha. It's the fiction issue. Also, it did go down for a while today due to bandwidth issues. Several of my friends are contributors, including Chris Marstall (photo), Christen Enos (review) and Sage Marsters (short story). Also, John, but duh.
I hate to say it, but To The Wedding is not blowing my top. Probably it's too life-affirming.