Minor Things by Kate Garrett

Minor Things by Kate GarrettMinor Things by Kate Garrett is sixteen pages of poetry; sixteen whopping pages, for “anyone that’s been there.”

It’s not a chapbook; it’s not a book of poetry; no, it’s a poetry collection about a girl. It’s also about me. And you. And all Gen-Xers.

If you came of age in the 90s, then Minor Things will stain your heart. It’s all there, what so many of us grew up with in some way- the broken home, the teen angst, alienation, the desire to fit in and realization that maybe you never will, and that’s okay.

There’s ten poems in this collection, the first starting in 1979, also my year of birth, and winding through the hurtful things that single mothers and stepdads can say up through 2013. But it’s also filled with music- literally and figuratively. You’ll read mentions of ELO, Guns ‘n Roses, REM, Matthew Sweet, The Pixies, Ozzy, Def Leppard, Nirvana, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Jeff Buckley, Rusted Root… it’s the soundtrack of the 90s, of our generation.

Then there’s the music of Kate’s poetics; she’s a tremendous writer, adept at really grabbing the meaning from moments and writing it out in a memorable way.

Mom said I had to get
rid of my mix tapes. Yeah, they
made me crush them with a hammer,
Dad was the one behind it. He said
the music nowadays makes kids depressed.

And doesn’t that say it all?

In sixteen pages, we have all of this, and, most importantly, we see the girl grow into herself and away from the harm that dysfunctional parenting can cause.

Pick up Minor Things by Kate Garrett for $3.99. It’s a bargain for a book that I’ve read four times this week, even seeming like a 50 page read. It’s that honest and that good.

-Mike Jewett

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