ungovernablePosted: December 1, 2015
So there’s this guy I know who just published his first book.
I’ve read stories that Jesse has written and thought of Bret Easton Ellis; I’ve read his poetry and thought of Leonard Cohen. He’s a writer. We haven’t discussed the mechanics of writing itself enough for me to know whether he has to tease and torture the words out or if they come willingly, but they read willingly.
JESSE NORMANDIN debuts with a gritty collection of autobiographical poems and vignettes. Equipped with a bare-knuckle style, Normandin opens up about his experiences with everything from teenage love to prison life. Sometimes radically hilarious, other times immensely dark, “ungovernable” is a refreshing debut from a rugged voice.
It’s funny how we went to school together, and so many of our individual experiences mirror each others’, yet we never really met until we were in our thirties.
Take CLYDE FANT. Superficially, it’s the story of a fight that didn’t happen. Beyond that, it could be anything and everything, based on your perspective when you read it. But I was there; I remember that happening. And I was on the other side. Through a series of events, I hung out with the cowboys at Clyde Fant. It’s intriguing, to say the least, to be faced with the other side of the story, because that’s the sort of thing that just doesn’t happen.
Too rarely do we have the opportunity to look at another human being and acknowledge their humanity, their sameness and their difference from our self. The separateness of a life that touched ours once and then never again.
Jesse has given me that, not just this time, but over and over. I read through his book in one sitting not just because I know him and respect him, but because his words meant something to me. They made me think about myself and the choices I’ve made. And I think there but for the grace of God go I.
And when I read, I consider Prufrock again–you know it always comes back to Prufrock for me–
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels