Kyle Flak was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1983. His previous things of poetry include: What Hank Said on the Bus (Publishing Genius, 2013) (Winner of the Chris Toll Prize), The Secret Admirer (Adastra Press, 2010), and Harmonica Days (New Sins Press, 2009). In 2013 he was a finalist for a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. In 2015, he was chosen as a “Poet to Notice” by Grandma Moses Press. His writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He studied at the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
POLITE INTRODUCTION BY KYLE FLAK’S SECRET GHOST WRITER, KYLE FLAK
I don’t know if this thing actually matters.
I am not even a smart guy or anything.
I don’t know anything about trees or mathematics.
You might be better off just going on a road trip
with your friends
where you laugh
eat super buttery toast
at one of those beautiful old timey diners
that make you feel like
you are the special someone
who has just become
the new Garrison Keillor,
but then you talk
and, no, your voice is still your own,
so, no, you did not actually
just turn into Garrison Keillor;
you are only at an awesome diner
as a fresh cool alternative to
actually reading Kyle Flak’s new book
and who the hell is Kyle Flak anyway,
some kind of descendent of Polish meat market owners
who has earned a living from packaging toothbrushes
at some point during his life?
You’re exactly right.
That is exactly who he is.
And I have to admit
that even to write this stupid introduction thing
is actually very hard work for me.
I have to admit
that even to get an “F” on Larry Bergman’s eighth grade
science homework was very hard work for me.
So, I’m sorry if this book
turns out to be really terrible
and can’t fix the toilet in your summer home, grandma.
I’m sorry that I am just a regular guy
who wrote this for fun one weekend
when there were no Hanging with Mister Cooper reruns on.
Pretty much everyone I know
wishes that they could just be Pa Ingalls
from Little House on the Prairie
without all the hard
work, pain, and suffering because, yeah, he was so cool!
But as for me, I am just Kyle Flak.
I love spaghetti, cartoons, and long walks alone in
various dark and creepy abandoned warehouse
type of buildings.
Oh, yeah, and also:
please buy lots of copies of this ordinary book to share with your wonderful friends and
I swear that it is a unique document,
just like Choose Your Own Adventure book #112, Skateboard Champion,
which was my favorite book for all of grade school
at Immaculate Heart of Mary catholic school.
My second favorite book was A Few Minutes
with Andy Rooney by Andy Rooney.
I wrote “Clem Smith” in the dust jacket of
my copy because I wanted my name to be Clem Smith.
Speaking strictly as an uninvolved third party,
my poems might be valuable to someone
someday because they might
save the human race
that threatens humanity,
even if they are
just completely terrible.
A poem only says, “I have feelings. Please remember
that everybody else has feelings, too. The end.”
I know that this poem is not perfect, but neither is Wade Boggs, and he is still cool.
Also, here, one wants to thank Anthony Guerriero
for being a really nice person who used to give new middle names to everyone.
Also, here, one wants to mention that I wish I had written a three hundred page
introduction to put on a zero page book.
I also wish that Piers Anthony mostly wrote
I also wish that Stephen King mostly wrote “On Writing” books.
My favorite animal is the moose.
My favorite color is called “sonic blue”
or maybe actually I like the one called “Daphne
blue” better, but I can’t really remember
so let’s just say that I like 1950’s shades of blue–
the kind of blues
that look like May skies before May proms
in small Midwestern towns where everybody’s
nice and mostly just wants to rake leaves for grandma,
and it doesn’t even matter which grandma
they rake leaves for
cause they’ve always got a rake in their
car ready to go
and every grandma they pass in their car
will always be kind enough
to alert them if there are ever any leaves around
that need to be raked up.
That’s the kind of blue I mean.
So, now we can begin.
We haven’t really begun yet.
This is just an introduction or something.
I have probably already failed or something.
But who cares?
I am only one man.
And I have already broken
most of the things that I know how to break.