I am dreaming my next novel. It’s a strange and careful time because what I read and think and see is sure to affect me in some abstract or even direct way as I find this novel’s path.
Today I’m reading GRIMALKIN, a collection of poetry from the now-rather-famous Thomas Lynch. Lynch, a Michigan undertaker, wrote the much-acclaimed book, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, about his life and work. But in 1994 he was not a famous essayist, and his work was known only by a lucky few.
The book itself was sent to us way back in 1994 by Robin Robertson, a Scottish poet and editor friend. His note simply says: “Here’s the mortician from Michigan as promised. –Robin”
Lynch’s poems are dark and sometimes cruel, as in “For the Ex Wife on the Occasion of Her Birthday,” or funny and true, like “Grimalkin,” his wry elegy for a not-yet-dead cat he hates. (I bet it’s dead, now.)
You can read about Lynch here. But best to check out his work. I reviewed THE UNDERTAKING when it came out a decade ago and recommend it. But it is GRIMALKIN I’ll read to bolster my dreams.