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New poem in Beaver Magazine!
Not nostalgia, not repulsion, but a secret third thing
A mildly nasty new poem of mine came out this week: “The Ooze,” courtesy of Beaver Magazine.
This one started off as a reaction to reactions to some earlier poems, which sounds petty when I write it out like that. Basically, I’ve seen people describe my work as “nostalgic,” especially if it mentions pre-2010 movies, or shopping malls, or certain celebrities. But it’s like, lmao nostalgic for what?? And more concerningly, Ah beans, am I becoming the Ready Player One of niche internet poetry?
I have a knee-jerk resistance to nostalgia at this point, especially in current-day media. This likely stems from
my vitriol for Ready Player One how nostalgia has become synonymous with corporate pandering—“Hey consumer, remember thing? You loved thing! Buy this remake/reboot/preboot/lingerie/3D printed miniature of thing.”
But I also just don’t think the stuff I publish contains actual nostalgia—no filmic yearning, nary a sepia tint. Despite all my Hey Arnold! echolalia, I am not a big Past Girlie. The present generally rules in comparison! And [yelling over the crackle of encroaching flames] I’d like to think the future will too!
It’s possible nostalgia in art is fully subjective, which feels kind of icky, but I’ll deal. If part of something makes you feel nostalgia, maybe the whole thing becomes nostalgic to you. Like how Succession makes me laugh and is thus my comedy comfort show regardless of its soulcrushing themes. Maybe I’m inadvertently using nostalgia as a Trojan horse to get people to consume my things! Despicable!
Whatever the case, I do often use images that come from somewhere kinda old and crumpled up. So this poem explores that—whatever that thing is that’s not nostalgia but not a middle finger. The title is the most fitting term I could come up with at the time.
I later enlisted the help of some friends to help name this not-nostalgia in-between feeling. Their responses:
2am memory lane
that’s just remembering stuff
it is what it is [said like a reality tv star]
honoring something in spite of yourself [wow, points for fanciness]
lettin’ the good times roll
Brb retitling the poem 👍
Things that are actually nostalgic to me
I don’t block myself off to nostalgia entirely!!! Some personal sources of unadulterated, free-range nostalgia include:
Ordering Japanese erasers from a questionable website with 60-day shipping
Finding out my crush liked me back via a cryptic LiveJournal post
orisinal dot com, by far the most devastating casualty of Flash getting deprecated
Doing quests for the Earth Faerie on Neopets
oh my god this is all online
OK ONE IRL THING: these boys
I still have those though. Like I’m looking at my collection right now. So idk if that counts.
Poems I’ve enjoyed lately
“Ode to Big Chungus” by Mike Good (p. 73 of the PDF)—Idk it’s just a great time. Please look at it.
Americanitis by Doug Paul Case—I read this months ago but keep coming back to it, especially its 10-page title poem. So much good stuff about perception, time, and what it means to capture a moment with or for someone else.
Everybody’s Favourite Hoe & Then Some by Jade Vine—Explicit and perfect!
“Clown Hours, 24/7” by Rowan Smith—"oh shit oh damn oh fuck my soup”
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