It’s common sense writerly wisdom that one’s best work comes from the darkest places. It’s easier to believe in, of course, when everything is fine. When life sticks its foot out and makes you fall on your face, good literature or whichever artistic pursuits get you going don’t seem that important.
So when the love of my life walked out on the world we’d built over the last five years, unannounced, as these things happen, having decided on her own that our ways of being in the world were too different to stay, I was well aware as the darkness crept in and I started to lose my bearings.
Beyond doing everything I could to keep depression and anxiety at bay—reaching out to friends and loved ones, meditating, reading, sleeping and eating well, rediscovering self-worth and self-love as a newly single person—there was still an excess of grief in my chest, enough to not want to accept that an open mind, a shared home, a half decade of shared experiences, a whole lotta love, and an undying willingness to work things out are not enough to salvage things with someone who found a way to be happier and decided they were no longer willing to meet you halfway.
As the days crawled on, and I learned the feelings wouldn’t so much leave as evolve into something bearable, I stopped beating myself up and ugly crying enough to assemble into my office chair to see what words came out.
The Breakup Suite is a breakup album in book of poetry form.
It’s poetry for the dumped, or anyone drawn to that wallowing headspace.
It’s also my best effort at letting my former partner go, and unlearning the plans I had to never leave, by channeling leftover sweetness and unwanted nastiness into art that does justice to our time together.
I share it because my deal is creating things, putting them out into the world, and hoping they make at least one person who isn’t me feel less alone. Beyond that, I have no other expectations.
Your copy is complimentary if you’re committed to reviewing the book for your website or any other publication. Use my contact form to let me know if you’re interested.
From the introduction,
“There is only one way to describe this tiny but mighty book of poems: the messy reassembling of a broken heart. If you’re reeling from grief after losing your beloved, and are looking for a little help unleashing pent up emotions, this one’s for you.
Does that mean the poems are merely weepy therapy and free of artistic merit? That’s not for me to decide. All I know is that the vast majority of these lines are about a psyche-crushing breakup, the painfully sudden occurrence and aftermath of which I am better able to live with simply because I have written it all down. My hope is that this reaction from extreme distress to moving on without being haunted by a partner’s memory is somehow transferrable through the poems here contained.
Listen, I know this might sound overly sentimental to anyone who isn’t currently consumed by post-separation emptiness, which is why I’m happy to say that this book isn’t for you. And I hope the time never comes when you need it to help you let the ugly feelings out and let a partner go. What follows is the saddest, angriest, achiest, all-up-in-my-feelingsest set of poems I have ever put together, every one of them dedicated to the romantic who mistook someone for their person only to watch that person leave all of a sudden after years without a chance for negotiation having come to the decision slowly and deliberately on their own weeks or months ago.”
My book of fictional ekphrases, The New Frontiers Of Conceptual Art, is now available as a digital copy.
It’s inspired by the people I met while working at the gift shop in Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
In case the term is unfamiliar, an ekphrasis is a literary description of or commentary on a work of art. In the case of NFCA, the artists and artworks are fictional but based on real people.
You can read sample pieces and grab your copy here.