Western Diseases | Sara Adams

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Sara Adams is the author of four poetry chapbooks: Western Diseases (dancing girl press), We All Have to Keep Our Heads (Ghost City Press), Poems for Ivan (Porkbelly Press), and Think Like a B (Stale Objects dePress). She is an assistant editor at Rivet Journal, and her work appears in journals such as DIAGRAM and Queen Mob's Tea House. Sara lives in Portland, Oregon. www.kartoshkaaaaa.com 


Warning: this book will disrupt your brain waves. From the wildly clever “Breast Nuggets” to the title poem, Sara Adams’ Western Diseases is a blend of found, experimental and Oulipo constraint poems that will rearrange your perceptions. Infinitely long straws, the largest parrot in the world, a mysterious red wig, “global warming and taxidermy”, nothing is impossible within these pages and each poem is delight.

—  Janeen Pergrin Rastall, editor at ELJ Publications and author of In the Yellowed House, Objects May Appear Closer and co-author of Heart Radicals.



Adams’ found poetry is endlessly and cyclically thought-provoking, a string of slow burnings ending in realizations sure to leave readers pondering the lines of each poem long after they’ve been read.


—Do Nguyen Ma, author of Ghosts Still Walking (Platypus Press) 






I have all of the typical Western diseases
the kind that middle aged guys with boats wear
I’m a liar, I admit it.

I’m quiet   

I’m champagne flowing like rivers
I’m Boo gaps in between the noise
I’m “Cool,” on a hot air balloon

I’m not expected to respond to people who are talking to me.








This poem was constructed from responses to an anonymous, open-ended survey I posted to Craigslist. The questions were: What would you do if you went to a museum and found a portrait of yourself on the wall? What is the worst type of sunglasses? What’s the best thing about being underwater? If you could put any post-it on anything, what would it say and what would you put it on? What’s your most pressing worry at this very moment?