A true California poet, Cait Weiss’s poetry lives in the anticipation of an earthquake. In an excerpt from her poem, “Northridge,” she writes:
“Bedrock—we say it like some families say Our Father.
This house is built upon bedrock. We live in fault
land, on fault lines. My best friend from 6th grade
will tell me about touching & her mother’s
boyfriend, but not yet. Now—we lie . . . .
In Los Angeles where Cait grew up and where her new series of poems takes place, people like to say, “the big one is coming.” It is a way for Angelenos to tell the stories of the earthquakes they have already survived, and discuss the possibility of an approaching disaster. Cait’s poems live in this discussion. They are painfully honest retellings of a family quaking. While reading I always wait for the big one—for the family to crack—but Cait is smart enough to not give the reader the relief that the worst part is over. She is a dynamic writer whose work is full of rerouted expectations. You’ll think you’ve reached the end of a Cait Weiss line, and then hugging the right margin is a word that changes the whole damn thing and makes you laugh out loud. Cait likes to mess with us, which for me is what makes her poetry so enjoyable and refreshing. I cherish Cait as a friend, and I admire her talent and boldness as a poet.
Cait Weiss is a native Angeleno, an adopted Brooklynite, and a resident Midwesterner. Currently working on her M.F.A. in Poetry, she has a B.A. in Drama and English from Kenyon College, her education garnered deep in cornfields and library stacks. As far as her writing, Cait's most interested in poetry as performance, the rock-n-roll lifestyle, feminine constructs, and the realities (and artifice) of sex, love and trauma in a narrative space. As for reading, right now the bedside table holds works by Zadie Smith, Kathy Fagan, John Berrymore and, for nonfiction, Joan Didion and Mike Davis.
Riding the rails.