Hosho McCreesh’s A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst was one of my favorite books of 2013, the kind of poetry collection I don’t stumble across that often, the kind that hits like a freight train and makes me want to drink and drink and be alive forever. It’s a book that feels a lot like being bombed with pals on a night when nothing can go wrong. These poems pass in a wonderful blur: glasses and bottles are lifted, good times are had, rough times are dealt with, the world is pieced together.
Here’s a favorite passage from an early poem: “It’s a slow, easy night, / a safe night even, / and the lights of the city / glister like remnant embers / of all you’ve burned away / in your mad and / drunken joy.”
And here’s another one: “You’re all righteously / shit-faced, and even though / you all have jobs and school / and responsibilities tomorrow, / no one gives a shit tonight, / tonight you’ve all said / to hell with worrying / and even if you’re / hungover, you figure / you’ll just deal with it / tomorrow.” These poems get inside exactly what it means to feel like that.
I could go on and on, just picking lines and passages that I fucking love. It’s hard to read these poems without a bottle in front of me. It’s like knowing my friends are out at the bar and I’m stuck at work. Okay, shit, here’s one more: “And the truth is / things just made more sense when, years ago, / everyone kept a bottle / in their desk, or they / carried a little flask, or / had a couple cocktails / at lunch, or, on a hot / afternoon they’d / order a beer / if they needed one, / or a Tom Collins, / or maybe a salty dog, / just something to / take the stink of / goddamned work / off the day, / just to put the / shine back on the / afternoon, / and just to feel like they were alive / again amidst all / the dull and / incessant / doom.”
It’s not that there’s no pain in these poems. The loss of a close friend haunts the narrator and and he’s filled with regret about all that he’s missed, but it’s a relief to have someone write an extended ode to booze like this. It’s not about the narrator’s life going down the crapper. It’s about love, about the wonder and mystery of drunkenness, and it gets it right. Sure, I’ve had some dark days under the bottle – and so does the narrator – but mostly drinking is about joy and hope and communion.
A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst is a beautiful book about something we too often see portrayed as the source of all bad luck and trouble. It’s goddamn uplifting. Now, fuck it, I’m going to the bar and I’m bringing these poems with me and I’m letting them sing straight to my drunken heart.
Also, in honor of A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst and this blog tour, McCreesh and I kept track of everything we drank this past weekend:
And McCreesh is giving away a DrunkSkull Survival Kit (50 bucks worth of prizes). The Kit includes:
-a copy of the book
-a recycled wine-bottle glass with the DrunkSkull logo on it
-a jar of Fiery Gardens Artisan Jams & Jellies,
-a DrunkSkull fridge magnet,
Here’s the Giveaway link.