Poetry by MC Hyland
“I can love you face to face but not on the internet. Inductive reasoning about what it means to be human. Fevered in a dead-end street. Poems jam the inbox. Of course the world is full of ambient awfulness. Sad state physics. In an uprising you must imagine no past and no future. This effort is ongoing and imperfect. Puddles reflecting trees. Little weeds poke up out of mud. What about a t-shirt that says I Remember the Information Superhighway. Puddles reflecting construction signage. How devoted are you to your performance. Dropping into character on the train. Defenders call this mob mentality. I guess I’m more interested in freedom of assembly.”
Composed between April 2013 and February 2017, the poems in MC Hyland's THE END, each titled “THE END,” chronicle a time of late capitalist crisis, as a populace alights on, endures, and absorbs turbulent change. Hyland's project, launched as an ironic formal conceit, evolves on the page into a witness account of the ways that the personal and private brush against and dissolve into collective being — in protest, through social media, on a crowded subway car rattling into darkness. A diarist lyric for the Occupy, #MeToo, and Twitter era, THE END captures in crisp, intimate flashes an extended moment in which the personal becomes inherently political, and the daily musings and observations of a mind navigating these times cannot help but be inflected by a collective preoccupation with a felt sense of futurity's impending end. “Hers is a kind of feminist-Wordsworthian project for our moment, without Wordsworthian lapses of condescension. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to think of Hyland in THE END as a Baudelaireian flâneuse: alert, occasionally dyspeptic, sensitive, registering the discontents of life in the 21st C. metropolis — as a woman, a citizen, a thinker, a listener, a friend, a racialized subject, an embodied self.” — Maureen McLane
“MC Hyland has written a book of utterly contemporary, shimmering, melancholic prose poems plunging us right into the thick (and the thin) of it. THE END is a kind of record of the poet’s mind-in social-solution in the Brooklyn of the 2010s (with forays to the UK): after the crash, alert to precarity, recording and shaping encounters and transactions and flashes of thought and feeling on an even, devastatingly beautiful plane. Hyland incarnates sensuous thinking and mobility across discourses we might wrongly partition as “intimate,” “political,” “social-observational.” Hers is a kind of feminist Wordsworthian project for our moment, without Wordsworthian lapses of condescension. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to think of Hyland in THE END as a Baudelaireian flâneuse: alert, occasionally dyspeptic, sensitive, registering the discontents of life in the 21 st C. metropolis—as a woman, a citizen, a thinker, a listener, a friend, a racialized subject, an embodied self.” —Maureen McLane
“Hyland’s ‘THE END’ poems are documents to post-human futures, announcing what we saw, spoke of, and thought we knew in ongoing times of crisis. In the world of these poems, to get one’s period points towards both menstrual blood and to grammatical silences; to ask if the aesthetic has a political unconscious is also to demonstrate that it does; and to live fully immersed in the city is also to dream outside it. Most of all, even in this unlivable world it still makes sense to believe in the future beyond, and to, when needed, visualize ones’ friends. Friendship and communal life offer glimmers of survival-oriented dailiness, in which the sirens are constantly going off around us, the police cars and computer screens vying for our attentions, but subsumed into a kind of normalness, creating a tableau of how real emergencies don’t exist on their own, they keep building and interweaving, just as the end continues to fall on us, wondering if this time we managed to make a new kind of day. If not a new kind of day, perhaps a new kind of poem.” —Anna Gurton-Wachter
Cover art by Cinta Vida
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MC Hyland holds MFAs in Poetry and Book Arts from the University of Alabama and a PhD in English Literature from NYU. From her research, she produces scholarly and poetic texts, artists’ books, and public art projects. She is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a poetry micropress, as well as the author of several poetry chapbooks—most recently THE END PART ONE (Magic Helicopter Press, 2017), The Laundry Poem/Five Essays on the Lyric (with Anna Gurton-Wachter, self-published, 2018), and Plane Fly At Night (above/ground press, 2018). Her previous poetry collection, Neveragainland, was published by Lowbrow Press in 2010.