About the Poems
by Martha Silano
In these poems I’m asking Big Questions:
(1) Not to be a total ingrate, but if there’s a God, why is s/he so often out to lunch?
(2) What’s my purpose?
(3) Why can’t we live forever, but even worse, why do babies have to die?
(4) Why is marriage so f-ing difficult?
(5) What is happiness, and how do I achieve it?
Thanks to a father who enjoyed sharing his thoughts about the universe, the meaning of life (he had no idea, thankfully), his doubts about God’s existence, etc., plus a love of Russian literature and Woody Allen movies (especially Love and Death and Annie Hall), I find it rather natural to move between the thoroughly mundane and the supremely weighty. I thought I’d major in philosophy until I had to read Wittgenstein. But seriously, all that Kierkegaard Fear and Tremblingstuff has always captured my attention. I can’t imagine being a person who didn’t at least now and then gaze up at the sky and think holy cow, where does it end, and if it does what’s beyond it? It’s refreshing to occasionally step away from the to-do lists and what are we having for dinner and go to that dark, cobwebby dungeon of unknowingness. And that’s pretty much how I see my work as a poet—and especially in this group of poems—one minute cussing about the piles of laundry, the dirty dishes, etc., the next profoundly aware of the fleetingness of life. I’m not one to shy away from the truth in these poems: that despite our constant attempts to come off as a bunch of smarty pants, we don't know shitake.