An instant classic of conceptual writing. Fitterman combines emotionally charged found text that cycles around themes of isolation and loneliness, pulling from disparate authors to compile a book-length poem.
A single voice emerges through a litany of self-loathing that is often hilariously high-pitched:
My hobbies include: being sad and lonely
all the time and my interests
Consist of people I can’t have.
Fitterman’s true subject is not loneliness and self-loathing, but the way poetry mediates personal expression. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you start writing poetry:
I feel so lonely,
Like I need somebody. I even wrote a poem about these feelings
today — fuck, I just need to turn everything around.
Critics of conceptual writing often complain that it lacks true feeling. Fitterman, however, proves that experimental poetry can be just as engaged with honest emotion as conventional poems — even while pointing out that there’s no such thing as “honest emotion.”