I’ve been following Momus Najmi on Twitter and Instagram for some time now, and I’ve found his unique and insightful posts deeply refreshing in a sea of social media sameness. Najmi’s voice on social media is identical to his voice in Mumblings of a Fool: honest, fearless, wise, and unrelenting. He’s that person who speaks those thoughts many of us have but are too afraid to release out into the world.
Even before picking up this collection, I found myself wishing time and again that I could be more like Najmi, or at the very least stop hesitating before liking those painfully honest tweets of his I know people are likely to misunderstand. He has a very special skill for being simultaneously unapologetic and compassionate, and this truly comes through in Mumblings of a Fool.
As a result, this poetry collection only reaffirmed my thoughts about him.
For one, it strives to embody more than just basic beauty and truth, therefore achieving a certain rugged combination of aesthetic and candor. Each poem announces an alarming truth, sometimes surrounded by more subtle ones, and leaves the reader just shaken enough that they momentarily pause before turning the page to continue reading.
Furthermore, and although the author has a brilliant hold of language, nothing in his book feels like cheap glitter; Najmi consistently cuts to the chase without sacrificing the material essence of poetic language.
This is the type of book I usually refuse to read in just one sitting. I didn’t want to risk growing tired along the way, as I often do. I realize now I probably wouldn’t have had this issue with Najmi’s collection since he had me absorbed enough that even my faulty vision and ADHD were no match for his work.
Regardless, I’m glad I read this book over the course of a few days. This way, I got to enjoy it to its fullest.
Something else I admired about the book was the assortment of symbols at the beginning of each poem. This simple addition made a difference by creating a certain peace and hospitality in a book otherwise brimming with uncomfortable [though very necessary] truths.
Najmi’s is the poetry you can touch – the poetry that will grab ahold of you and refuse to release you until you’ve heard everything it has to say.
It simply insists on being read.
In turn, it’s safe, although silly to say, that this book somewhat deterred me from reading Najmi’s published novel, The Silent Betrayal [although I already own it for Kindle]. I enjoyed this poetry collection so much that I almost don’t want to move on to his other book. I want to stay here for a little while first.
Regardless, I absolutely do plan on reading The Silent Betrayal someday. If it carries even a margin of the wisdom I discovered in Mumblings of a Fool, then it already has me captivated.