“Nobody notices the way the word
races off, searching for a neck
to wrap around.
This endless running with scissors.
This is something’s daughter.”
Miles Walser can do things to my emotions that shouldn’t be possible. His work and the glory that it be can take me from joy to sorrow and back without warning & against what I want, but definitely what I and the poem need. It’s more than a rollercoaster of emotions, it’s turbulence at its most graceful, it is wind after wind after wind blowing us over and around until we find ourselves standing, unsure of which way we came from but certain of where we must go. I trust Miles to guide me through his work, to bring me to a place where peace is a possibility, even if I am still wandering through the shadows. Miles’s work handles race masterfully, always aware & questioning and pushing forward a conversation on privilege that doesn’t have to be moderated by brown bodies. Miles’s work is also aware of the body, able to honor it and adorn it with golden language, but also able to question its role in our lives and our daily performances. To that same masterful extent, Miles navigates love and love lost, able to make us swoon & need the act of needing, but also able to make us retreat, not from work, but from the gruesome & teeth laden possibility of love. I am so grateful for the love in Miles’s work (the love of self, community, family, and lover) and for his ability to critique it, question it, doubt it, revive it, and give it back to us in the form of amazing verse that is just as brilliantly performed as it is written. Miles demands our attention, much like darkness does in his new book What The Night Demands. Folks, I am HERE for Miles Walser and you should be too, if for no other reason his work is here for you.