There are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
BOOK: There are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker (Amazon)
…first of all: there are?! You’ve already got me, Morgan Parker – hook, line and sinker — with the title alone.
By the time you finish reading this book, you’ll be sold on the nearly unfathomable notion that there are more beautiful things than Beyoncé, and that Morgan Parker’s writing is one of them.
I’m a slow reader, but I breezed through Parker’s collection in a few short hours, which is why it deserves the coveted rating of 5 bottles. Like all good poetry, you could (and probably should) spend much more time with this book, though, because there is a lot to unpack here.
Parker’s poetry addresses a myriad of identities: being a woman, being black, being young, being broke, being single, being hopeful, being lustful, being inclined to need a Xanax. No matter which of these identities you can claim, Parker will have you feeling like she understands you completely, like she could recite your deepest insecurities out loud. Her words are like a generous pour of wine before a first date: comforting. Necessary. Exactly what you need to get through.
Let me put it another way: you know that feeling when you’re getting close to the end of an episode of The Great British Bake Off and it’s clear your favorite contestant is going to pull off a classic Victorian sandwich with a perfectly thin layer of jam, even though it seemed like it wasn’t going to work out at all because the jam was too chunky, and everyone’s been sweaty and talking in hushed voices, which is the British version of a major freak out?
I think that’s the feeling Morgan Parker is describing in one of the last poems of her book, the book’s namesake. It’s that first second of a good feeling after a million bad ones, when you realize everything is going to be okay-ish. When you think, maybe, you’re less of a flailing bag of hot garbage than you thought you were.
She says it better:
But one day your shit will be unbelievably together
One day you’ll care a whole lot you’ll always take vitamins
And exercise without bragging and words will fit perfectly
Into your mouth like an olive soaked in gin
The glory of an olive soaked in gin and its small smoothness
A gloss will snowfall onto your cheeks, the top of your lip
The sidewalks will be the same, evidenced
Combing your records you’ll see the past and think OK
Once I was a different kind of person
Damn. Once you were a different kind of Victorian sponge cake – clammy and lopsided. But now? Now you’re a different kind. Like this book, you’ve had just enough time in the proofing drawer.