I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE
poems by Mark Cugini
Letterpress printed cover designed by Joseph Young.
“I’m interested in how we might use sophistication to describe some of our most contemporary poetries. Our poems have incredible access to new landscapes. They are rough and digital. They are warm and closer. They are Drake and molly. And really, we know this. There are methods to incorporating this into our poems, into our Huffington Posts, but as Gertrude Stein teaches us, methods aren’t literature. Methods aren’t blood or trying to breathe like, just a little bit bigger with you and our shirtless artists down by the stinking water. I’m trying to use sophistication to say here are some poems by Mark Cugini that understand something about seamlessness, about not privileging one aspect of yourself / your language in your poetry so that all your facets might collapse on top of each other into something glorious and extravagant and uneasy. I’m Just Happy to Be Here possesses an excitement that is observant but never distant. Isn’t that exactly what the title is telling us? And doesn't it actually mean its position? I’m Just Happy to Be Here are the poems of a growing man complexly picking through what it means to be a growing man, what it means to be a growing man from an island, how it all might be ripped through by what connects it and him both to other land and to the sea.”
- Carrie Lorig, author of NODS