The Catastrophe of my Personality (2014)

Reading from The Catastrophe of my Personality, May 1, 2014, Burke’s Book Store (film by Willy Bearden):

“Corey Mesler’s spare, well-crafted poems guide us through such a range of emotions, from despair to humor, from loss to gladness, in moments of love, of self-awareness, where the interior life and the exterior world meet. We follow him as we follow a dear friend, in these poems which are both highly personal and artistically poised.”

John Bensko, author of The Waterman’s Children, and the Yale Series of Younger Poetry Award winning Green Soldiers



“Corey Mesler is that rare writer who defies labels. Neither  academic or of the underground street variety. His work is as varied as it is strong. I have been lucky enough to know about Corey for a coon’s age, but am ashamed to say I hadn’t read him nearly enough. What can I say about a guy who mentions Tuesday Weld in his poetry? Just that “The Catastrophe of my Personality” is stunning in its honesty and its simplicity. It’s one of the best books you’re likely to read in any calendar year. I wish I had written it, because it deserves an audience as big as the heart that created it.”

John Dorsey, Author of Tombstone Factory, Epic Rites Press, 2013.



“Mesler’s poems bear a family resemblance to the excellent poetry of Kay Ryan and Tim Suermondt but chances are you have not read poems exactly like his. Inimitable, sometimes surreal or synthetic (joining the possible with the impossible), never illogical but willing to take brave leaps, his poems are as individual as he is, original, engaging, goofy, and smart as blazes. Who else has noticed that a poem is a “shaky little pudding”?!  And the nine-liner ‘Naming’ is one of many triumphs here.”

Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems



“In one of his long series, Odysseus Elytis capitalizes this slogan:  “One ‘Makes’ The Truth Exactly As One Makes The Lie.” The Catastrophe of my Personality is Mesler’s plainspoken love letter to the world.  It values the fragility of everything we make—a love, a fear, a lie, a house, a poem.  It knows that our longing to create is both ravenous treasure and terrifying cancer.  Each poem is a momentary stay against loss and change, and Mesler knows there is more to life than poetry making.  This book urges us to seize the ephemeral in our constructions and admit to the ephemeral beyond them.”

Richard Lyons, author of Hours of the Cardinal

Order a signed copy HERE

Cover art: Chloe Mesler

Cover art: Chloe Mesler

The Catastrophe of my Personality” is intelligent, moving, and often funky. And what I really like is that the poems, like the best of poems, aren’t afraid to converse with the strangeness of the world and thus make the poet’s personal strangeness universal. ‘The river is languorous/because we want the river/to be languorous.’ Who says poetry makes nothing happen? The poetry in this book makes many things happen, even the miraculous, and we’re all the better because of it. They’re all fine, but the poems that struck me in particular were “Paper Dolls” “Last Night I went to Kenneth Street” “Sleeping in a Box” “Why Gayla” “Art and Love” “Steal this Love” “Picture of the Poet Reading” “Only without God” and “Tell Me How Tomorrow Will Be.”

Tim Suermondt, author of Just Beautiful







Cover art: Chloe Mesler

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