I Can’t Explain Love or Loss if the Only Language I Have is Geology or What I Watch on YouTube
Impossible Archetype (30 Aug 2021)
Download PDF: Issue 10
I once heard someone say sadness is not a bad emotion, that instead of trying to avoid it or suppress it, we should let ourselves experience it. I’m not paraphrasing what he said very well, but ever since, I’ve let myself experience sadness like I let myself experience happiness: fully.
There are many emotions to experience in the latest issue of Impossible Archetype, but from Mark Ward‘s Editor’s Note at the beginning of the issue through the violence that pervades poems near the end, there is, at least to me, a strong sense of sadness and grief. I contributed my own poem about sadness to the issue, “I Can’t Explain Love or Loss if the Only Language I Have is Geology or What I Watch on YouTube.” It was sparked by my unexpected sadness over finding out that a couple I used to watch on YouTube has long since broken up.
In Issue 10, it’s not (only) contemporary events that spark most of the sadness (that was issue 8, in my opinion, in which poets were reckoning with COVID-19 and stay-at-home isolation, topics mostly left behind by later issues.) The sadness comes from individual, personal experiences, LGBTQ+ experiences, sure, but universal experiences, including in love and breakup, coming out, dealing with parents and aging parents, with pets and nature, with existential crises, with writing and music and other art, with time and how it is fleeting.
I’m not trying to scare people away from reading the latest issues of Impossible Archetype. I’m comforted by the poems inside. Sadness is universal and human, and I am, we are, not alone in experiencing it.