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Heavy Pettingby Gregory Sherl
from the Foreword by Bob Hicok
I made Greg Sherl write poems by telling him he was writing poems.
I think that's how it happened.
I think he was wearing pajamas when I think what happened happened.
Because they're comfortable, I assume.
Because he was an MFA student at the time and they do things like wear pajamas to class.
I wondered if the pajamas were a stage of MFA evolution in the direction of dreaming, which they were not, though Greg's poems are dreamy.
Dreamy about love.
Dreamy about OCD.
OCD about love.
Lovely about OCD...
Let's play random sample: I'm hair and you're a Bon Jovi cover band.
Again: I go to Tampa and I want to punch myself in the face for going to Tampa.
Once more: You look anorexic from the neck up, like someone used an ice cream scooper to steal your cheeks.
I told Greg Sherl in his pajamas that his poems were poems because there's a lovely dreamy OCD strangeness to his poems.
Which I would like all on its own, if you stuck this lovely dreamy OCD strangeness on an island and told it to be itself, I would love it for being itself and ask nothing more of it and wish it well on its island with palm trees, of course.
But why I told him these were poems in my hand, more than the lovely dreamy OCD strangeness, is that the lovely dreamy OCD strangeness drives quick and straight toward emotion in a way that is simultaneously direct and off-kilter...
So you're a poet, Greg Sherl.
Do you still wear pajamas at times that are not technically pajama times?
Do you ever feel a bird in your left eye trying to fly to your right?
Do your poems help it get there?
If I had to reduce my foreword to four words, these would do: I love these poems.
To three: these poems love.
To two: love poems.
To one: blastoff.
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