If you’re feeling weird, you might as well face this fact: we’re all weirder than the next, for sure. We’re all bouncing around in weird Jello, bumping up against other versions of weird, just hoping to be tapped out of a top hat like that, like snap.
— Micah Ling, “Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense,” published in Hobart
There are so many worthless people
waiting to be insulted. Tell me all about them.
Pretend we’re at the Seville before the smoking ban.

That’s how the coffee we’ve made tastes, so bitter
that it gives me hiccups. I’m laughing because we learned
to kiss how I learned to drink my coffee black.
— Emily O’Neill, “Virage,” published in Banango Street
There are a lot of people who want to be poets, but you’ve got to get past that and understand that the only time you are a poet is when you’re engaged in the process, when you’re making the poem.
— Robert Wrigley, interviewed by Jeffrey Dodd for Willow Springs
I am trying to tell the little scoop of hell in me
not everything is a catastrophe:
the mounds of snow on snow, the cooped up dogs
barking at couches and wood-paneling,
the chewed patent heel of a shoe
too dainty for this hill and ice town.
— Stevie Edwards, “That the Desperate Shall Inherit the Sky,” published in Sweet
I learned early that the black experience is a different experience, but it doesn’t exclude any experiences either. So for me, all my experience is a black experience just as I’m comfortable if someone says or thinks that I write ‘black poetry’ even if race isn’t addressed in the text. I push back on those that want to discard any kind of identification showing up in art. I tend to think those people are delusional that it doesn’t show up there even if they aren’t aware of it. The poets that write, ‘I’m not a black poet’ poems, in my opinion, are only telling us what kind of black poet they are.
— William Evans, interviewed by Hanif Abdurraqib for 30 in 30(0)
Unravel into a river of stories. Do not let faith go the way of Yiddish. Survival is not a dead language.
— Jeremy Radin, “Medicine for my Great-Grandfather Made from the Lyrics of Bruce Springsteen,” published in Radius
Am I a badly built sack of ropes
I get drunk and leave threads everywhere
What was it like pushing knots out of your womb
I know clearly my last steps will be frayed and rot in the harbor
— Tara Boswell, “Mother You Have Some Skin in Your Teeth,” published in Coconut