Open Letter to Brandon Scott Gorrell

Dear Brandon Scott Gorrell,

I just finished your book of poems that you call “During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have Biographers Present” except I don’t think you use capital letters. So I hope you’ll forgive me for using capital letters. I’m a big fan.

Anyway, this was the first book of poems I’ve ever read straight through, in one sitting. To quote Matthew Rohrer, “I like these poems.” In fact, I like them so much that I’m writing about them on my blog and I’m going to tell other people about them. That’s a pretty good review, I think.

Your book looks like this:

bgorrell1but I guess you already knew that. I’m very interested in how books are designed and I’m very interested in how you didn’t use page numbers in your book. And how all the fonts were the same, except the titles were bigger. But they were all sanserif and usually that bugs me (because I’m a HUGE serif-fan) but I think it works in your book because one of your themes is alienation and your font choice alienated me from the words.

But that’s not to say I didn’t understand what you were talking about. Because I most certainly did. In fact, I find myself worrying that I’m going to be in your exact predicament in two or three years. I already check my e-mail more than I should and worry about things like how people look at me and if my writing has any value. For the record, I’m convinced it doesn’t.

But I like that I found a little bit of myself in your poems. That made me feel nice even though the things I recognized about myself in your poems weren’t necessarily nice things. I think everyone feels lonely, though. So I guess that means we’re not alone. That’s kind of a cliche statement. But I like that your book wasn’t cliche. At least I didn’t think so. In college they tell me that writing cliche things is about as bad as it gets. But everything’s already been written so I don’t know how to do it. I’m kind of glad you’re struggling with that, too. 

Is that mean? I hope not, because I don’t think you deserve that.

Also, I found some of your imagery disturbing. Especially the parts about heads eating things and robots getting stabbed. But I guess heads are always eating things…just not themselves.

My favorite poem was the one about the spider in amber. I really like thinking about a purple aura absorbing the solar system. I also like how you shoved that image in my face with the following line. It made me think about things I don’t like thinking about. So I guess I fell for your trick. Thanks.

I’m going to tell people who’ll care about your book. I hope that’s ok. I hope they buy it because it is good and certainly worth buying. I also hope it’s ok that I spent this long thinking about you (and writing about you). What will people think?

Have a good night.

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5 thoughts on “Open Letter to Brandon Scott Gorrell

  1. An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally.

  2. Exactly. This is a letter intended for Gorrell that I’m distributing (via this blog), hoping others will read it and decide to buy his book.

  3. Zachary- I don’t think it was sarcastic. Maybe at parts, but on the whole, I think it was a ‘book plug.’

    Doug-I liked this book too. I am way too eager to give away books I like, so I gave it to some hippie at a music festival the other day. I also met Brandon last week and liked him, but I was too drunk to remember if we talked about anything, so I’d bet he probably didn’t like me. He also may not have liked me because I once made a moderately derogatory comment about that short story contest he held. That concludes reason that Brandon Gorrell may not like me. Up next is reasons that Chelsea Martin may not like me.

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