I love hardcore punk and I love poetry. So when I saw that DEATHWISH, INC., a hardcore record label founded by JACOB BANNON (of CONVERGE) and TRE MCCARTHY, was selling a chapbook self-published by a poet named ALY PIERCE, I knew that I had to read it. What could be better than a synthesis of my two favorite things, a coming together of my major stylistic influences?
I’m not going to discuss the poems in detail and I’m not going to quote specific lines. I am simply going to tell you that ALY PIERCE is a phenomenal poet, and one who emphasizes the raw life experience I crave in contemporary poetry. From beginning to end, the chapbook, which is both influenced by and reflective of hardcore punk and metal records released by the DEATHWISH, INC. label, conveys a complete and nuanced experience, allowing readers to peer into the various beauties and tragedies of Pierce’s life.
Through her work, we are able to catch vulnerable glimpses into Pierce’s past, feeling the honesty of hurt, loss and anguish. We also see the delicate details and awe-inspiring visuals of the natural world, as well as memories that both heal and haunt the reader. Pierce reflects on the visceral highs and lows of the reality of human connections, houses lived in, and her own dream-like fantasies. The writing is extraordinary, both descriptive and emotional, and engages the reader through its sincerity and openness, revealing Pierce’s intimate thoughts and personal reactions to circumstances quite entirely out of her control, both past and present.
In THE DEATHWISH CATALOGUE, PART ONE, ALY PIERCE makes sense of the chaos of life, just as hardcore kids and metalheads find meaning in all the noise.
You can order the chapbook here: https://deathwishinc.com/products/aly-pierce-deathwish-catalogue