A few weeks after the release of his memoir, Sherman Alexie cancelled the second half of his national book tour. “I have been rebreaking my heart night after night,” he explained. Writing about pain had become a process of inflicting it on himself.
Language retains the rhetorical barrier between the wild and the civilized, the false dichotomy upon which humans have built cities and established nations. It’s within this partition that poetic genres like the Romantic lyric and the pastoral took root, ensconcing the obfuscations that Tommy Pico rails against.