Today is the day. Everything changed. I’m happy now. nEonsense arrived in the mail. For weeks I’ve awaited this great package, waiting for the Postal Service to take me to such great heights. My building is sick of me asking about it. When I picked it up, they told me “But it doesn’t have your name on it.” I told them “Google me. I’m fucking great at blogging.” Actually I didn’t really say that as I’m a polite sloth. What I did do was eagerly pick it up and rush on back. Part of me wonders whether or not their curiosity got the best of them or if they decided I was weird and didn’t bother thinking more about it. Either way, I now have nEonsense in my little, sloth claws. Maybe they are reading this right now and they think I’m awesome.
nEonsense needs to be experienced in person. The level of care Neon Glittery took in this artifact is amazing. Obviously it is neon. Glitter is all over. But it’s an object of pure love, crafted by one Elizabeth Ashley Arnold. Perhaps her time spent in Germany has taught her the proper manufacturing methods. Every page is filled to the brim. Words hug the margins, splay themselves out, or just fall down. Binding is brought together by hand, and the attention to detail includes even a little smiley face, welcoming you to the work. If arts and crafts ever taught me to do something this infinitely excellent, I might have paid attention as an eight year old sloth. Thankfully Neon was able to master the art of design.
Words explode inside. Stickers, pictures, and a mix CD are enclosed, giving you things to show your support. A little sticker states “stick me somewhere but you have to peel me 1st” reminding me of the Velvet Underground and Nico’s “Peel Slowly and See”. You see, Neon has this down. Don’t consider her a player in this, she wrote the gosh-darn name for Pete’s sake. A little bit of respect is due for this exquisite attention to detail. Each page I revisited multiple times, in awe of both the words and delivery.
I have wanted this book for a while. First there was all that hype I created because I think what Neon does is unique. Nobody I’ve read really incorporates design of where the words go alongside the poetry itself. Oftentimes there are ‘multiple scenarios’ for the poem. Usage of the , (), //, -- give the words different potential meanings, feelings, and emotions. In a way nEonsense is a more honest approach to writing poetry. By capturing all these varying feelings it represents what goes on in our own minds.
Whenever I’m doing anything I think up countless scenarios for how to do it. Most writing doesn’t bother to present these different meanings. Usually if it is does it is stated rather explicitly: “Jake didn’t know whether to eat a pizza or bludgeon the Purple Dinosaur to life.” For this book, Neon lets you pick your adventure to some degree. All those ‘choose your own’ adventure books from not that long ago (or perhaps I’m dating myself) had parts of this fun, but usually there were wrong answers. nEonsense’s world has everything as a potentially right answer. It depends on your mood and the way you want to read it. Your own interpretation is not just important, but required. This goes for every poem in the chapbook, no matter how big or small. Even in such a small size you get lost in the text.
This delightful little collection can be found on Neon’s own website. Get stickers and get a mix CD if you’d like. As a personal side note it is well-selected. I’ve made countless mixes so I know a thing or two about how to select properly. Besides, anything that ends with a song as obscure as that, well you’ve just won me over in terms of music. Keeping it a secret as to what band it was but let’s just say: well done.
Gladly get lost in the great glittering world of nEonsense.