When I created Strange Creatures, I wanted to take a deep and sometimes uncomfortable well of desire, and present it in a form that wouldn’t incriminate me. Hence the poems were accompanied by playful, stylized illustrations. That much hasn’t changed; the illustrations in Brief Lives are lighthearted, comical, and occasionally puerile, though the style has evolved significantly.
The poems, however, have been steeped in experience, in consummation. Desire, in many of these new pieces, is no longer a gaping absence, but a startling presence. That might make you uncomfortable. It certainly makes me uncomfortable, and I have been coy about promising copies to friends and family; I am vulnerable in this volume, I am naked in these pages, I am incriminated.
But now it is finished. Now I have no choice but to let you all see what I’ve been up to. It’s big (twice the length of the first volume), it’s unapologetic, and it’s being printed this week. Let me know if you want one and I’ll mail it out to you.