Sunday, September 2, 2012


Let me tell you about a poet I really like. He is a heroin addict in and out of his addiction (not that this is a requirement) but the result is that there is an incredible and palpable rawness to his words, an immediacy of emotion like blood drawn from a vein. Half of his words are misspelled and some of his grammar is quite bad (but these can be fixed in editing) but the feelings and power and vulnerability of his words are disarming and original. I feel his soul out there on the page for all to see, his self and psyche with their innumerable flaws and contradictions as well as their damaged beauty and hope for healing. In it he transcends himself and his own problems and responds to everyone’s pain and unknowing. (The only reason I’m not publishing him is because he’s only written a handful of poems, not enough for a book.) I tell you this so you can understand what kinds of things turn me on and make me want to publish them. Work that is undeniably well-written but suggests the writer’s workshop, the MFA program, the college literary magazines is NOT the kind of thing I’m excited about. I guess what it comes down to is that I want your blood, your soul, your sadness, your elation, your humor, your dangerous edge. I want you up there on that tightrope not afraid to look down. I want to be reminded why we keep going in the face of all the absurdities. I want the words to transcend, to outrage possibly, and maybe even to heal.

If you write something that explodes from you unrestrained and unselfconscious (and that the professors at the U. of Iowa Writing Dept. and The New Yorker would HATE) then please send it to me posthaste!

Max Perkins

1 comment:

Sky Jack Morgan said...

I like to think people in the Iowa writing dept. might like my stuff. Maybe I'm delusional.