Dear Weirdo

Dear Weirdo

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Author: Abraham Smith

Publisher: Propeller Books (2022)

Abraham Smith's Dear Weirdo is a wayward romp that offers prismatic insight into the nature of love, loss, and home along the way. With a spellbinding immediacy, Smith rides a prophetic cadence through town, into the sky, and down the "gut's lonely road." The deeply familiar reappears-neither dust-covered nor bathed in golden light-but as a continuous explosion in this book-length poem, drawing the reader into a personal history refracted through a lyricism utterly Smith's own.

"Abraham Smith carries greatness like a splinter in the lining of the heart. He carries it like a poison drunk up in infancy, a bone shard that traveled from a smashed rib or a flint of exploitation that was planted there by a bad friend or a wasted economic system. Yet music pours from Smith like blood, cheap wine, car-radio and bird song. Abe is an ecstatic, standing outside himself and singing to himself, the whole pulling-apart yet encapsulated pageant of Keats' Nightingale played out in the person of one poet."

–Joyelle McSweeney

"Abraham Smith is one of my favorite living poets keeping the art form alive. He is patiently stoking the fires of imagination and his persistence has kept the cinders of inspiration smoldering. It is a joy to read his work and a thrill to hear him read it in person."

–Margo Price

"I'm a city kid, so I know maybe three tree names tops. The regular ones. But I've always admired those who had a different bond with nature, a secret understanding that baffled me. Abraham Smith is one of those weirdos. I say weirdo in the best sense. Someone who cocks an eye not toward the thick middle but is supreme at eyeing the edges. His book is full of hawks, and herons, sticks, and robins, flowers, and fishing lines. But there are also staple guns and Pokémon Go and ice trays. And shit in the in-between like 'bereavement snacks' or 'electrocution dimes' or 'juicebox joy.' Smith can commune with it all. Like he's tapping into an ancient language of the animals and the land and just yawps out how these flora and fauna view our odd and fucked up and incredibly tender everyday. I picture the speaker to be an ancient, seen-it-all, one-eyed bird but one smoking a pipe and wearing a trucker hat laced with a Charlie Parr pin. This book is that bird's song. A letter and lament to the weirdos."

–Gene Kwak