It was an honor to see some prose pieces from Nils Michals come across the TQR inbox; I’m a fan of his poetry but was struck wholly by Michaels’ ability to weave lyric power and philosophical inquiry into tight lines of vivid prose. I was also struck hard by his voice: caustic, sardonic, funny, knowing. I will sit up for many nights wondering, “what else is there to do when every news story is a lung on fire?” because I wonder now if there is any other way to describe this world we occupy? His prose is prescient (“Every day a famous person says, you must not breathe that way”), and demands action, demands deep thought (“The air. The air, of course, which could no longer be trusted”). These pieces leave me grasping for hidden meanings and with each new reading I find more to masticate and digest. Great poetry recreates language and recreates meaning, and I have always felt that prose should aspire to do the same: in these two pieces we see Michals showing us how it is done.
Read “Pandemic” by Nils Michals >>