I never thought twice about writing a poetry collection about punk rock kids, sweaty shows, and general chaos. To me poetry and punk rock have always been linked, maybe linked is not the precise word, but running parallel to one another. Each a subculture supported by passionate people, yet the mainstream has no idea how to profit from (we can argue about if punk sold out at any time later), so it ignores it completely.
Ever since I was a child I loved poetry, from Edna St. Vincent Millay (her Lament was the first poem I was drawn to memorize, I still have no idea why). As I grew, it grew with me to the frantic verse and the unfinshed editing of Mary Anne Moore, to the confessions of Sylva Plath and Anne Sexton, to the engery of Allen Ginsburgh, to the irreverence of Charles Bukoski, to the feminism of Kim Addonizio, to the nostalgia of Chad Daniels, to the vernacualr of Jeffrey McDaniel. These authors, these writers, these poets captured minutes and eras, they captured moments and feelings, they distilled what was important to all of us, in just a few lines, in just a few words, in just the right white space.
Yet, no one knew these names, or at least the modern ones. We are a society who isn’t “into” poets. We, as a mass of people, have come to believe that poetry is stoggy and full of forced rhyme and antiquated language. Yet I always knew how wrong that was, I knew that if each person could uncover the poetry they connected with, we could have a resurgence.
At this same time, I was coming up through shows in my local scene. That was where my moments and feelings were forming and existing. This community was what I wanted to capture in my writing, both for those that were there, and those who never would have been exposed to it otherwise.
As I wrote, collected stories and feelings, remembered laughter and uncertainty and heartbreak, my narrative emerged. It asserted itself as a story told in verse, the soundtrack always played in the background, I just captured it here in the titles to make sure we never forgot, just how important those songs and bands were to that time, those feelings.
I hope I did the poetry and the punk community proud, but most importantly, I hope a 15 year old me would agree.