By Michael Podgurney
EDMONTON – Where do you fit into this world? When the stress of life gets you in a twist and the debasing sentiments of others about their fellow humans seem overwhelming, what you might find is not a pleasant or welcoming environment. The outside world can seem like a confusing matrix of petty thoughtlessness. In a very tangible and sometimes uncomfortable way, that is the theme many of Corey Hamilton’s works display. Here, abrasiveness and controversy abound, along with sobering self-examination and attempts to find meaning.
A long time Edmonton resident born in Winnipeg, Hamilton has been writing and self-publishing books of abrasive poetry, stream of consciousness writing, short stories and essays for 25 years and he’s got some pretty strong motivation.
“I do this to straighten my brain out,” he says. “I think if I didn’t do something I’d go crazy.”
His writing points towards a very intense personal struggle with the people he encounters in his world, sometimes fawning over potential love, other times confronting people with unwarranted rage and hatred. There is an undeniable commentary directed at the general public, especially in his earlier works. What bothers him most about others is that, “people just don’t know how to let it go. You pick your battles and live and let live.”
And that is why he tends to throw a good deal of the population into the existential wood-chipper.
His earlier works were a strong reaction to his sharp and brutal impression of the world.
“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I wrote,” he explains, referring to one of his more jarring pieces.
“At the time (of writing) your views get polarized when you’re in the thick of things.”
That is what you get with Hamilton.
His earlier works are contrasted with his later ones, where he tends more towards a personal involvement in his world.
“I was reacting instead of being introspective,” he says of his earlier books. “Because 90% of this I’m directing at everybody, when I should have been directing it at everybody and at myself.”
But, there is a light side to Hamilton.
“I’m really a nice guy,” he says. “I don’t mean to detriment…I should be more forgiving.” Indeed, in his final poem in his latest work he leaves off on a tender note.
“To whoever finds this/I love you.”
You can find Hamilton at Edmonton Zine Fair 8, Saturday December 16th, at St. John’s Institute, where he is releasing some new self-published works, Open Up and Mash Notes Vol.1 and Vol.2.Corey Hamilton, Edmonton Zine Fair, Open Up and Mash Notes Vol.1, St. John’s Institute, Vol.2.