Grady's Reviews > Inhale

Inhale by Scott Michael Craig
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's review
Sep 20, 2012

it was amazing

Warning: Infectious Word Soup That Comes Out Meaningfully in the End

Stand on guard: M Scott Craig will play with your brain in a way like no other author has since Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. He splashes words all over the page, but this time they are in an orderly fashion that lean more toward short stories than the random graces of his previous two collections - CACOETHES and THOUGHTICA. In this delicious volume he relates his musings on reality versus surreal, dysfunctionality (if there is such a noun) along side sensuality. Many of his `stories' - this time - make perfectly lucid sense, or is it simply that exposure to his sorcery with words that pulls at the brain until the kaleidoscope of ideas phrased in ways we've rarely seen seem normal? I don't know, but what is evident after spending time with Craig's works is that a hunger for reality of this sort - paintings without paint or canvas or brushes or even hands - is imprinted on the mind now and in solid memory, sending us back to his other works with a more lucid perspective.


Love is a tug of war under mammatus clouds,
It is a journey you seldom know you are on,
Under star, under beacon, under space, above all.
It hurts when you let it,
And you'll never forget it.

Love travels through lonely mouths,
Across cold seas, through traveling spokes.
I wish I could see what the sky sees of us.
Let it show men an expression of myself
For only myself to know, and I'll dream.
Carousels fill with love through the night......etc (the poem has 7 more stanzas)

Or spend some time here, with the following

I'VE HEARD OF GIVING the mountains, to the sea and the shrub, and I've heard that exhalations can free the soul and the blood and the breath.

I want to give mouth to mouth. I want to climb crystals in a curator's throat, let the art ingest, the frames pilfer the skin around the lips until all that is left if a curator's mouth for ne to breathe into, to suck on, to feed out of, to stick my parts inside for the curator to fell and learn form and swell in......etc

But parceling out bits and pieces from the bits and pieces Criag creates seems presumptuous. So here is a full poem:


I've shaped a lot of people, girls and boys,
Women and men. I talk less and less some days.
I have nearly nothing and everything at the same
And that could last me the rest of my life.
I'm short of a few concepts but have written many.
I hate when I break my own policy about
Giving up on somebody.
Marriage is like a V-belt.
Somewhere somehow somebody is changing
The world and therefore changing my mind.
Countertops are for love too.
I cry seldom, but also not long ago.
I worry less than I cry.
I am surprised by the beauty of a bonfire,
And also how I can fall asleep next to one.
Babies are younger than me.
Sometimes I look at pictures of friends and see them
But am happy not to hear them.
I get hungover on disappointment.
Peter Pan will never last forever
Unless I get to do search and rescue. And I would.
INHALE makes you want to, and then try not to exhale for fear some of the joy of what M Scott Craig has created will slip away. Tinker toys or cosmic quarks or alpha torques or songs and rhymes of a wild man - it is all here, masterfully created.

Grady Harp

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