Letter 16: May 11, 2022

I’ve been rather disenchanted with the notion of the Letters from the Desk series lately. I just want to hunker down and complete unfinished essays on art and books that have taken much of my mental space in recent weeks. I could easily wax poetic on any subject, making it seem to be more important than it is, when in fact all the things I am thinking about are of equal value. They are all worthy of extended critique. There’s a rather extensive list in my mind that’s moving around and making strange noises. Suffice to say that I am currently engaging not only with specific works of art and specific literary accomplishments, but I am also confronting the larger issues with which they are concerned. My next contribution will be on Eve Packer’s 2021 volume of poems and thoughts titled “No Mask No Talk: Corona Poems 2020-2021” (Autonomedia Books) and to some degree, it will also represent my first concerted effort to grapple with the existential difficulties we are all facing in the wake of how Covid has partially cancelled our everyday lives, placing us in a state of emotional stasis, and forcing us to reestablish what gives life its value. Who better in some ways to speak to these difficulties than a poet who is a also native New Yorker, devoted and steadfast, tethered tightly to the life of the city that makes living here unique?

Look for it.