Love Comes First

My life as a writer did not start with the Zipless Fuck. It started with poetry -- my passion for reading it and writing it. But poetry is a tough sell. Stephen King (also a great lover of poetry) once told me that he thought the critics had ruined poetry for the general reader by celebrating the most obscure, unreadable poetry. And I have come to agree.

Poetry is what we turn to in the most emotional moments of our life -- when a beloved friend dies, when a baby is born or when we fall in love. Poetry is the language we speak in the most terrifying or ecstatic passages of our lives. But the very word poetry scares people. They think of their grade school teachers reciting "Hiawatha" and they groan.

So I made a video with two talented young video artists, Jessica Wolfson and Paul Lovelace. My hope was that people who were afraid of poetry might find in it what I found -- balm for the soul, a way of confronting love and death with calm, with peace, with acceptance. The truth is we need poetry -- even as we fight against it.

Here it is.