09 May National Poetry Month is over but POETRY lives on!
I recently reviewed a different book of poetry by Neil Hilborn called Our Numbered Days. You can read my review on the library’s blog.
As promised, Hilborn released another book of poetry in early April 2018. The Future reads similarly to Our Numbered Days – it is funny and sad and contemplative at times. The Future is undeniably funnier than his first book of poetry – and possibly a little darker. “Ode to Me, from my Denim Vest,” “Psalm 12, in Which the Author Alienates his Audience” and “Psalm 12, in Which the Author Alienates his Audience, Part 2” are prime examples of his humor. There are also hilarious quotes from his various possessions:
“I have no idea when he wrote this. He literally spent all day yesterday Googling ‘Neil Hilborn unicorn fanfiction.’ ” -Neil’s phone
“Wheeeee I’m a bike! I’m a bike! Wheee!” -Neil’s bike
“Help! Can anyone hear me?! I’m stuck! It’s pretty bad.” -Neil’s wedgie that’s been getting worse since Cleveland
Some of Hilborn’s poems take a more somber turn. He deals with mental illness on a daily basis and it continues to be a large focus in his work. His poem “The Future” is the last poem in this book. You can view a 2013 performance of it here. His poems are powerful and raw and give a voice to depression and thoughts of suicide that sometimes isn’t possible for those who suffer. “For Henry, Who has Just Gone” and “Me, but Happy” speak to what it is like to love someone when you’re struggling to love yourself.
Hilborn wrote the majority of his newest poetry collection while touring the United States for Our Numbered Days and poetry shows. Sometimes his poetry readings would take place in small towns or big cities but no matter where he went, he tried to find a connection to each place. He saw how the stops along the tour echoed some of the different phases of his life in poems such as “Two Days in Williamsport, VA,” “Places to Never Return,” “Rust Belt,” “Next Exit,” and “Lake.”
If you’re interested in reading some of Hilborn’s poetry for yourself, you can find more information about The Future and place a hold on it here.