When I received Snug I was expecting a collection of poems that would create a “snuggly” feeling through the formal devices of each distinct piece. I imagined the center work, “Snug,” being a poem reflecting back to a particular emotional experience that would allow the reader to fully appreciate the idea behind this “snuggly” feeling. Instead, “Snug” was a prose poem that read like a descriptive essay. The first hint of actual writing, which doesn’t come until three pages after the title page, begins in poetic form with conversational tone and diction. The work begins as if we are over hearing someone talking, simply joining in after a conversation has started.
this favorite sweatshirt
illuminates warmly with
sheen and a gentle neutrality
and gives a warm look
slipping off of itself dissolving
focus into green glowing lack
and full general light of projecting
light and a tiny green light pulse
Snug is all about “this favorite sweatshirt.” The text itself reads very long even though it only spans forty pages. Many of the descriptions are recycled—not unlike certain cottons—making it seems as though we have read the same page more than once. In reading, we often find ourselves just reading on and on until words become meaningless, then pausing, only to start again. The reader then finds his/herself trying to dissect meaning from the piece, only to find that process thoroughly exhausting. This is a book about a sweatshirt! There are neither line breaks nor punctuation. There aren’t even words that particularly stand out to draw attention to any themes or ideas. Each word carries the exact same gravity as the next for forty pages. Its as if they’re all very unremarkable stitches in this comfortable, homogenizing setting.
sweatshirt throwing red green and blue projections over still objects and light integrated topographically emergent surfaces in intense combinations of purple and milk blonde teak interrupting blankets of reddish spirals and triangles forty-fve seconds of one minute sweatshirt glowing rotating blackout static dimmer strobing out of sync texture color shadow effects and temperature pattern color
Throughout Snug, I found myself reassuring myself: “This is a about a sweatshirt. Ok, now the sweatshirt is doing this. And that. And that’s that.”
Snug is available from Troll Thread
Kareem Groomes graduated from Charlottesville High-school in 2011 and moved back to his home, Philadelphia. He was first published in a University of Penn Chapbook in 2012 and went on to be published in APIARY issue 6. Although his main focus is poetry he has take particular interest in editing and criticism. He was the editing intern for Transient Magazine, has edited for FENCE magazine, and has just finished a project with APIARY, acting as one of the editors for a special youth edition.