About the Poems
by Rob MacDonald
"Conflicted" hopes that each of us can embrace our inner fifth grader.
"The New Graffiti" is about our lame attempts at cheating death. One minute you're being published, and the next minute you're having your head cryogenically frozen, right?
"Pomegranate" is a self-conscious poem (maybe even a defensive poem) in which I try to convince myself that the reports of narrative poetry's death are greatly exaggerated.
"Definition" recognizes that life isn't fair. In fact, life is more than willing to melt our wings if we get too high. In 1986, my favorite baseball player was Bill Buckner. Buckner hobbled his way through the season, icing his ankles, knees and elbows after games. His ankles got so bad that he had to wear custom-made high-top cleats, the baseball equivalent of a plastic cone around a dog's head. Buckner said at one point, "They're going to have to shoot me to keep me out of the lineup." Of course, the reward for all of his suffering was to be memorialized by the ground ball that went through his legs during the World Series, letting a long-awaited championship slip away. The title refers not only to the definition of a word but also to the idea of being defined by certain moments, particularly the bad ones.
"Hunger" is about the tension between the everyday and the exceptional. Many of my poems are about the mundane stuff that, for one reason or another, sticks in our memory. Our minds filter our lives, storing a few memories but throwing most of the data away. The logic behind that filtering process is a complete mystery to me, so I keep coming back to it.