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Forget Me / Hit Me / Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor

42 pages
6” x 9” Perfect-Bound Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-0990903550
First Edition
Review Copy: Paperback
Split Lip Press
Pennsylvania, USA
Available HERE
Review by Do Nguyen Mai

Captivating in its surreal imagery, Katie Schmid’s tender, poignant writing in Forget Me / Hit Me / Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor invokes deep, slow-moving yet prevalent nostalgia for the American Midwest, pulling the sun below the evening horizon as the neighborhood’s children race home for dinner. Schmid’s poems are slow to punch, yet they build and build the same way rain fills a house—slowly but surely.

Forget Me / Hit Me / Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor begins by dragging readers to drown in both the pain and joy of remembering not only the past, but also such a place as the narrator’s memories of the Midwest.

The bigger sky.
Endless summers that consumed winter whole.
(And the whole while, someone in a tiny town
afraid to leave her house. Someone haunted
by the hungry ghost of her mother
(from “Someone Eats Bitter”)

Instead of quick, hard blows only in certain instances, Schmid interweaves sentiment with the dreamlike landscape of her Midwest, steadily drawing out the breath of readers through the consistent pacing of impact.

The central pieces—“The Daughter Psalms”—are, perhaps, the most tender pieces in this collection, songs sung both achingly and lovingly from daughters to their dear fathers who, unfortunately or not, are not left untouched by the dreamlike nature of Schmid’s Midwest.

Maybe he never thought to be a father:
his motorcycles, his reckless
burning as a boy, those tattoos. But we love him.
(from “The Daughter Psalms: blue bird motel”)

Despite the focus of notions of the Midwest tending to remain on men and boys, it is poems of this collection, such as those of “The Daughter Psalms,” that refocus the stories of the Midwest onto the daughters, the lovers, and so on.

In the dark, boys lie on their beds and listen to the katydids and frogs wetly hum. So, too, they hum. A bat whines. A boy thinks of all that he will kill. All that will try to kill him.
(from “Some brief information about the Spartans”)

For all Forget Me / Hit Me / Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor is a bittersweet journey through the dream of memory, the collection is one that brings back to the surface longing and love for that which has been left behind.

DO NGUYEN MAI is a Vietnamese-American poet and musician currently residing in the Los Angeles Area. In her free time, Mai can often be found researching Southeast Asian history and teaching Vietnamese to young children. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Rambutan Literary, a social media manager at The Fem, the interviews editor at Crab Fat Mag, and the visual curator for the journal Half Mystic. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr at @lotuscrowns, and on her website donguyenmai.weebly.com.

• The reviewer received a copy of this book through a Twitter giveaway and submitted the review in full. The reviewer does not have a personal relationship with the author or publisher. • Permalink • Tag: The Volt •

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