i am alt lit

alt lit reviews

80.0 :: ‘i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together’ by mira gonzalez

'i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together' by mira gonzalez // sorry house, 2013


this is the 1st release on sorry house, a highly ‘buzz-worthy’ publishing house run by spencer madsen and willis plummer

the hype for this book seems ‘potent’ and ‘multilateral’ but well-deserved

recently there was a ‘launch party’ for both the book and sorry house, it showcased writers tangential to mira gonzalez and sorry house, including kool a.d. of ‘internet rap’ fame

 the energy behind this book seems ‘momentous’, and the book seems ‘significant’


it seems like mira is capable of ‘functioning’ ‘normally’ even though she is plagued by constant pangs of anxiety triggered by small imperfections

"sit on the hood of the car and smoke one of his cigarettes

you don’t like the taste of cigarettes and you never smoke them

you see dust mites in a ray of light coming from a streetlight

and feel panic

you are extremely allergic to dust mites”

the juxtaposition of her overarching worries against concrete elements of the ‘here and now’ is the stylistic ‘workhorse’ of mira’s staccato humor

some parts begin with an almost ‘deus ex’ account of her personal shortcomings and naiveties, then immediately ‘comes down’ with poignant situational ‘punchlines’


many of these poems are centered around relationships that involve mira and another person, be it a parent, a lover, or someone who only steals a few hours of her time

rarely does mira show antipathy toward people she is intimate with, or any of the people she interacts with or observes

instead she seems to have acute empathy for the ‘human condition’, in this respect she seems easy to connect with and relate to

her awareness of others’ faults and blindness, even thru varying degrees of disappointment, shows a gracious degree of forgiveness and understanding

she expresses admiration for beauty where she finds it: a decrepit house in a gentrified neighborhood, physical features of her lovers’ upper bodies, the dependable tempo of entropy at large

but at semi-regular intervals she seems to ‘regress’ into a nervous, insecure island of doubt, too stoned or drunk to escape whatever it is that people get stoned and drunk to escape


the social alienation and hostility mira describes could easily be translated into other languages and ‘felt’ by ‘alt masses’ across the globe

but in the context of mira’s personal life, her ‘personal brand’ being almost indelibly linked to her relationship with ‘hi-profile’ cultural icons such as tao lin and black flag,

her acerbic take on human relationships, on ‘public relations’, on existing in the ‘public square’ seem justified

"I pick up my cat and forcibly hug her

my cat meows loudly and jump-kicks me as she runs away

I think I would like to be a cat

I want someone to forcibly hug me

I want to jump-kick them and run away”

it is hard to read this book and not ‘root’ for mira, she could probably create a mira gonzalez ‘army’ or ‘street team’, some sort of grassroots campaign to lobby the universe to leave her the hell alone

while at the same time scouring the earth for someone who could dissolve her leathery outside and gently or strongly love her


some of the expressions in this book feel distinctly ‘alt’, but in a seemingly effortless and mostly unpretentious manner

mira paints with a broad palette of tiny, specific emotions and vivid details, each one more fleeting than the last

all of them seem collectively ‘timeless’ and deeply human, natural shades of being that could apply to anyone

at the same time she conveys a state of being that is uniquely ‘now’, possibly ‘hyper-current’, as if she is on the cutting edge of reacting viscerally to the shitstorm of modern life in young america

she seems to be riding, contributing to, even causing a ‘new wave’ of attitude in the internet age

one that involves submerging oneself in a disparate balance of passion and indifference, enduring the jostling of the everyday, scrounging up enough comedy to justify getting out of bed

the end product is a gracefully dense mishmash of effusion that seems at once visionary and invitingly pedestrian