Great Poem of Desire isn’t so much a thing you read as it is a thing you ride, and like a cafeteria tray down the snowed-over slope of the library stairs the collection doesn’t seem entirely safe as it goes banging across fabulist cityscapes and provincial fairgrounds, through improbable romances, impossible longings, and crises of faith. But you should trust Rich Smith’s wit to carry you. An exclamation mark for every question mark, his poems are a gleeful mess of language, voice, and tone and are propelled as much by their exuberance and unabashed optimism as they are by serious self-reflection and self-doubt. Read it, ride it, let it run you over, this one of the most entertaining and earnest collections you’re likely to encounter anywhere.
Rich Smith is a guy who makes you want to buy mustard greens from someone named Joanna, because they would turn out to be meaningful mustard greens. He is an uncommon man in being so present in living that you O reader grow vital with him. He is one who brings a croissant to a Jiffy Lube and it becomes the right thing. He is a scholar of nightdresses and uncinched pajamas, and a lay bishop of sunshine. He reawakens in you a notion you seem to have lost in slumber, and that notion is SHEER TALENT.
Rich Smith grew up in Belton, Missouri. He holds and M.A. from Ohio University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, Guernica, Barrow Street, City Arts, Bellingham Review, <em<The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle, where he writes for the The Stranger.
Print Feature Specifications