Scary, No Scary by Zachary Schomburg

I read most of Scary, No Scary in the bathtub last night. For poetry, it's not bad. At first I thought, well, this is too simple, too mired in nonsense. The lines, by themselves, are not shockingly good. I thought, this is awfully youthful stuff, as in, who cares.

Then I read a couple more poems and got it. There is a lot of repetition in this book, a lot of stacking of concepts and "characters" (like hummingbirds and darkness and falling and black holes and half-buried hearts). The poems become beautiful by accumulation, and the scope of the book broadens through the pages.

The more poems I read, the more I got into the space of Schomburg's ideas.

If you've ever heard the expression, "I don't know how to read that book," which is something smart people say when they're confused by what a poet is doing, this is a good book to read. I heard someone say that and thought, "When I don't get a book of poetry, I just figure I don't understand poetry. I never thought about different ways and techniques to read something." But this book provides an elementary way to understand how it, itself, should be read. It teaches the language as it's being read.

Also, the titles are really good.