essay

To Grow a Whisper: Matt Sailor

I won’t forget the first time I met Matt Sailor, my fourth offering in “To Grow a Whisper,” my series of literary spotlights devoted to (mostly) emerging writers. I had interacted with him a little on Twitter, but it wasn’t until AWP in Seattle that we met in person while standing in line to receive our entrance badges. Even though I was basically an acquaintance at that point, he still (for whatever reason) came to my reading when there would have been so many other lectures and readings he could have attended. It meant a great deal to me (especially considering he isn’t a poet as far as I know.) It was then I knew he was a quietly, exceptionally sincere person. That sincerity is what makes Sailor such a strong writer. Talent, sharp wit, and imagination (yes, he has those things too) can only go so far if the author doesn’t give themselves over to a reader. When Sailor writes it’s a wonder there is anything left of him. (more…)

Of Course There is More After the End

Dear Merced,

There was once a small window, and out of this window there was the view of yellow flowers in a field, mountains jagging in the distance, white-capped. Sunlight. I am not the one who built this window, nor the one who found the view or sowed the flowers wild. I am not anyone important. I am only someone who saw out of this small window and for a time too brief thought “how beautiful,” like so many others. But now the window is gone. The field and flowers, mountains. Gone.

I wrote about you recently. Not under the guise of poetry as I sometimes do but in a way unguarded. I hope you don’t mind. I hope you already know everything I have to say. If you are in a place where there is more after the end, I hope you are well and taken care of.

Always,

Michael