"How to Glow",a poem by Dean Young, seems willfully chaotic at first reading, but it does have a rhythm and vibrant sense of starting off with one proposition and concluding with an end , a result, that one did not expect. The chaos were are getting are an overload of the senses, some quirky half sleep where the unfiltered merging of audiol, visual and tactile sensations bark at one another for the attention of the affected consciousness; it makes for for ugly music and crude ,loud theater. Each of the concrete things that poet Dean Young mentions seem find a connection with death ; all things lead to demise here, peaceful, painful, glorious, infamous, mundane. That which we busy ourselves with in order to adhere to a convenient existentialist tenet that our lives have meaning drawn from only the decisions we make and our commitment to live by the results of our projects has , as well, a parallel function, to distract us from obsessing from that which we know is inevitable.
Young, who I understand was once in need of a heart transplant and was fortunate enough to receive one, is fatalistic in this poem, but not without being playful as he inspects the dead ends of the propositions and ideas that are initially championed. One might despair and declare that the poem means to tell us that what we do and dream and build is all for nought Each endeavor results in a metaphorical dustbin ; I sense something else, hinted at in the title; if you want to glow, to seem holy and spiritual, shine at what you do, aspire and achieve. Go forth and do good works. Appreciate the abyss, step away from it and return to the business of being alive, in this moment.