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You Should Read: Washington Mutual Is A Bank That Is Everywhere by Tao Lin

March 10, 2010


After seeing Tao Lin yesterday night, I’m in a pretty Tao Lin mood (another post on the panel I saw, The Contemporary Art of The Novella, TBA). Now lately Tao Lin, author of Shoplifting From American Apparel, has been writing more prose than poetry, but I’m still attracted to his older stuff, circa 2006, and this poem in particular has resonated with me since I first read it two summers ago (circa 2008). In the poem Washington Mutual Is A Bank That Is Everywhere (scroll down when you click on the link), from the poetry collection you are a little happier than i am, the narrator tries his hardest not to talk about his love for “you” even though he realizes that “there should be something about you in this poem.” The narrator is in denial and yet remains relatably pathetic–it seems as if he’s lost his only chance at a relationship that really matters, but instead of doing something constructive he feels wounded, stupid, bitter, more inclined towards thinking about the weather in order to forget his misfortune than confront his debilitating emotions.

Favorite Line(s):

“There should be something about you

in this poem.  But

there is just me, being stupid.

Putting shampoo on things.  My roommate’s shampoo.”

Reading Time: 1min

Level of Enjoyment: One of my favorite poems. All the nonsensical feelings I’ve ever had, the seemingly random but perfectly connected bits of my mind that have floated/squeezed/ripped past each other, finally find a home in this piece.

Also, for your benefit, here’s a scanned image of the poem (is that illegal? please tell me if it is, though it’s already in the public domain via the link above) just because I love seeing what people write in the margins of books, and so I thought I’d show you my personal margin scribbles (click for larger image):

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