Fuck You — Aloha — I Love You

Here is a book I read that was intellectually interesting, emotionally compelling, and formally distinct from other work I’d been reading. Here is a book that I would consider poetry of rhetoric more than poetry of imagery, although the image of the Hawaiian punk rock singer screaming the title of the book stays with me. Here is a book that uses language like a chant. Language like a meditation. Here is a book that masquerades as an essay. It is a book about Hawaii, which I have come to love. It is a book about inside/outside, about native/intrusion, about culture/society. There are gymnasts in this book who make shapes with their bodies and the body, in this book, is a meaningful symbol like language. From this book I learned to be obsessive about the content of my work, to not just know it but to live it, but not to mistake what I live for the content of what I write.

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