Saturday, July 11, 2009

During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have a Biographer Present by Brandon Scott Gorrell

Cover flat picture borrowed from cheese_colored_mumu's photostream at Flickr

During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have A Biographer Present
By Brandon Scott Gorrell
Copyright 2009
Muumuu House - Poetry
80 pages

My apologies for turning an all-lower-case title into one with capital letters. I felt compelled, you see.

You can tell from the back cover of During My Nervous Breakdown (the left-hand side) what Brandon Scott Gorrell's poetry is all about. "Low Self-Confidence!" it shouts. "Alienation! Anxiety!" And, then, of course there's the title, anticipating a forthcoming nervous breakdown. If anything, I'd assume that putting it down on paper is all the therapy this guy needs, since it's now in print and print in an actual book with a real cover is validation. But that's just me.

So, open the book and read a little and you'll find that the entire book really fits the theme of those exploding word stars on the back. It's about feeling alone, depressed, anxious and confused in a world where most contact (for some humans) involves a computer screen and a mouse. You can look at it one of two ways: either this guy is the next likely man to get a gun and take out 20 people from a high building or hahaha, this is kind of funny!

Here's an excerpt from the poem entitled "brandon":

brandon has been considering taking the people that post
one bulletin a day off his friend list for about a month
brandon thinks this is logical because in real life he only
feels comfortable around quiet people and not people
that feel the need to scream their names at 200 online
contacts multiple times a day
brandon checks facebook
someone has body slammed brandon on facebook
brandon feels depressed

I don't know what exactly it is about poetry like this that pleases me, but I like it. Another favorite excerpt is from "john and the space alien":

"I'm going to have a nervous breakdown soon," John says. "I can feel it coming on."

"Me too," the space alien says. "I kind of want to have one. To relieve endless cycles of power struggle."

"What is a nervous breakdown," John says. "What do you do in those?"

"I think you just," the space alien says.'

"I'm not sure," the space alien says.

This little bit of poetry (if that's what it is -- free verse, I assume?) reminded me of Paul Simon's "Gumboots". Remember,

I said hey you know breakdowns come
And breakdowns go.
So, what are you going to do about it
That's what I'd like to know.

4/5 - Good stuff; might freak you out a little. Very few references to sex, considering (but there are some) and plenty of violent thoughts that might have something to do with too much solitary playing of video games.


  1. This sounds hilarious. Definitely not your typical poetry collection.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. Anna,

    It's either hilarious or scary, depending on your mood. I enjoyed it very much. I like uniqueness and I think Brandon Gorrell's poetry is definitely unique!

  3. Hmmmm--might give me a breakdown just reading it. I'm pretty selective about poetry these days, especially considering I don't read any. :) Walt Whitman is calling my name, but I just can't seem to make time for him. He's more the voice I would go to in the moment of a breakdown, though--calm and pointing out all the wonderful glorious things about life.

    So--hmmmm to this one. :) Maybe for when one isn't on the verge of a breakdown.

  4. Trish,

    Definitely not for when you feel like you're on the verge of a breakdown, but it's fun reading otherwise.

    If you're looking to get started reading poetry, I have one name for you: Pablo Neruda. He is all kinds of awesome, IMHO.


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