Thoughts About Daniel Bailey’s The Drunk Sonnets
Sometimes everything seems to be crashing down around us and so we have us a beer. And then we have us a few more and then maybe more than that and then we are drunk.
Our bodies want more than they get, our hearts are beehives, we wish you hadn’t ever left, we still shit. We are glad you still exist and were there with us for a time. The tide goes in and the tide goes out and when you order a pizza online from Domino’s you can track it, like your pizza exists in its own personal Vin Diesel movie. We are a character in Golden Eye, and in order to complete our mission we have to become several tiny banquets for a retired janitor who managed to keep three floors of a building cleaner than we will ever be able to keep our own heart, and that is just fine. Pabst keeps making its Blue Ribbon winning beer, and there is no danger of a dearth. The world turns. Our heart beats. The birds fly south, and tomorrow will be near Kentucky.
And in the world of The Drunk Sonnets it is always shark week.
And like shark week, there is danger. There is commercial interruption. It is not shark week without several shots of sharks not eating the shit out of some man flesh. And it is not shark week without several shots of sharks just sitting there and growing more teeth and not drowning. Because shark week is more than Jaws.
In The Drunk Sonnets there were poems that I thought were maybe flawed, maybe a little too sobby, maybe a little too self-indulgent. This was also me pretending that these things never happened to me. That I never got sad and I never got drunk and I never said things that I hoped no one ever remembered. That I have never been drunk near a computer or cell phone. With this book Daniel Bailey reminded me of something I try sometimes to forget.
It consists of sonnets. A sonnet, typically, is composed of an octet (eight lines) and a sestet (six lines). During the sestet comes what is known as the turn, which is the point in which the direction of the poems changes. For the most part the poems stick to this, using two quatrain and two tersets. There is, within the sonnet tradition, a history of sonnet cycles, such as Sir Phillip Sydney’s Astrophel and Stella, and a history of dealing with love, but a sort of love that we don’t always get. It is written in all caps. I am sure that some people will think this is silly, or a gimmick, but I feel that putting these poems in anything other than all caps would take away from the overall experience. Whenever I have been drunk, I have tended to get louder and louder. This is part of my drunk experience.
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