Heart-On-Sleeve Word Vomit in “Quick Fix”

by Jerome Spencer

“i understand what it means to understand

i’m just tired of using language for it”

There’s urgency in Catch Business’ poetry. It’s as if she just pours her thoughts out as they come with little to no regard for a second perspective. I’m not talking about that pretentious, beat-worshipping, stream-of-consciousness word garble, though; it’s more like unabashedly candid, stark and startlingly intimate. The poems contained in Quick Fix are beautiful in their vulnerability and brave in their sincerity. There’s a cutting familiarity about Quick Fix, as well. Poems that capture that thousandth time you’ve checked your iPhone or opened the Facebook app to see if you’ve been ghosted or are just overreacting hit a little too close to home sometimes.

It would be a disservice to imply that Quick Fix is all heart-on-sleeve word-vomit and odes to smartphones, though. Catch has a knack for capturing the symbolism in commonplace situations, making the very personal appear boldly universal as well. It is because these poems are so current and immediate that they feel so personal. Catch is writing about the kind of things that happen every day and the tiny scenarios that play out in our heads, but she put a language to it. And that language is tremendous. There’s a tercet from “thinking of me” that I can’t stop thinking about:

for shock value we create miracles

i feel so small on my couch

ash on your belly

It’s so deceptively obvious, yet gets more mystifying every time I read it. And I’ve read this whole collection over and over again, each time discovering some new meaning or a different paradox to explore. No matter how often I thumb through the pages, though, Quick Fix never gets any less gorgeous.