177.1: Jamison Crabtree:: to prevent pain, & this is where we bite the bullet where the bullet takes our teeth and we ask for the cartridge as a memento
7 July 2014
“Tell me to stay and let me hate you, tell me to leave and let me love you.” This line conceals a novel’s worth of narrative, and a line is all you’ll get here. Jamison Crabtree’s poems subvert our desire for story. Like any good love affair, they give us elaborate backstories and complexity of feeling within a couple brief meetings. Then, these sentences cut us off abruptly and leave us wanting more. The lines in Crabtree’s poems are embedded with micro-narratives that force a reader to lean closer, to tune their ear to the music and be moved. Just as the speaker of the second of these pieces must leave, so, too the story must leave us behind. The residue of feeling, of yearning for more, of empty-pit stomach—that visceral whatever is the stuff of these poems, the tiny wild that Crabtree captures and immediately lets loose. But we wouldn’t rather read a novel than experience these brief moments of emotion. To paraphrase what Crabtree writes himself: If ever a story appeared, it would be no comfort.