Writing on Wednesday: The holycow feeling of just being human. Or today we burn clouds.

SkyI had a hard time choosing a title for this post because the subject matter is dripping with delicious verbal concoctions.

Corey Mesler’s new book of poetry, The Sky Needs More Work, will be released as an ebook at the end of the month from Upper Rubber Boot Books. I was Corey’s fan for a long time before I became his friend. His poetry (and his prose) sometimes informs, often entertains, and always inspires. (And that was my attempt at writing a lyrical sentence.) Here’s a sneak preview—but be sure and buy the book when it comes out!

“Dear Editor” captures how all writers must feel at times—but maybe poets more so than others. Why? Because for a poet every word is a sentence. Every line is a paragraph. Every stanza is a chapter. The stakes are higher. And the muse can so easily play havoc with those words. “Storytelling,” “Writing So Clear” and “Witchery” give us a peek into the writer’s labors and angst.

“The Sky Needs More Work” is a tribute to the poet’s overwhelming calling and eternal palette. Corey shows how we “limn the infinite with crude tools” and “work for the furtherance of body and soul”….

This is how we show

our appreciation: a little color

here, a trope about harmony.

And, even if the sky needs

more work, today we are up

for it. Today we burn clouds.

Expecting some erotic verses, I was not disappointed, as Corey heated up the page with “Cicisbeo,” “Chronogram,” “Strictly Blowjob,” and “Cock-a-Hoop.” I can’t quote much from these verses without experiencing severe blog-blush (are blogs rated?) but these closing lines from “Cock-a-Hoop” must be shared: (Buy the book to read the first four lines of this wonderful poem!)

And afterwards the holycow feeling

of just being human and

satisfied like a goddamn poem.

And of course his irreverent humor shows up in poems like “At the Mapco,” which reminded me of some of the voices I loved in Corey’s novel, Diddy Wah Diddy: A Beale Street Suite.

Corey signing at the bookstore he owns with his wife, Cheryl, Burke's Books in Memphis
Corey signing at the bookstore he owns with his wife, Cheryl, Burke’s Books in Memphis

Corey’s darkness and candor are ever present, especially in poems like “Pesthouse,” “Bardo,” “Agoraphobe’s Litany,” “The End of the Year of Darkness,” and “Bunuel’s Car.”

The spiritual is present in many of Corey’s poems. In this collection I was especially drawn to “Afternoon Religion” and “The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control.” And refreshed by “I Never Think God is Not Dreaming.”

And of course Corey gives a nod to icons of our culture with his verses about the Beatles, including “The Day John Lennon Died” and “The Beatles in Five Parts.”

This book is not to be missed. Here’s where you can find it:

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-42-2 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-40-8 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-41-5 (pdf) is forthcoming at Smashwords.