Milford’s poet laureate publishes book of poems

Milford’s poet laureate Mick Theebs has published his first collection of poems in a book called “Somnambulist.”

The title means sleepwalker, and Theebs said he chose it because it represents how he feels about his, and others’, paths in life.

“For the vast majority of my life, I feel like I have been moving without being awake, moving from one thing to the next without any kind of awareness or conscious thought,” Theebs said. “We are pushed through the school system as children and then college as young adults and through the professional world as adults without any real explanation as to why these systems exist in the first place, or what purpose they ultimately serve us. This is a theme that I reflect on through many poems in this book.”

The collection of poetry is both an exploration of himself and a reflection of the environment that, he said, he is a product of. He said the themes and feelings expressed are those that many others can easily relate to.

The poem Of Course You Do begins, “I have already caught up on all of the shows released direct to stream in the comfort of my living room. I have nothing to look forward to.”

His poem CXL begins, “In 140 characters or less, describe what it feels like to hold a newborn baby in your arms.”

Here he explores what he sees as a disconnect in people today.

“Going back to this idea of sleepwalking, I do think we are becoming more disconnected in general,” Theebs said. “I think many people's existence, my own included, can be summarized as sitting in various chairs looking at various screens. The world is becoming a strange, scary place as the future grows more uncertain and it's easier to look at a screen where things are safer and make more sense. This poem is an attempt to push back against that, as sinking into this sense of distracted safety isn't going to do anything to solve the many problems we are facing.”

Theebs was named the city’s first poet laureate in 2016 when he was only 24 years old. His previous work has been published in online literary magazines and ejournals, and he’s published many of his poems on his own website.

As poet laureate, Thebes writes poems for key city events: So far he has written eight.

For his first Veterans Day, he wrote:

November has come in a cloak of gray

and amid the harvest and proud display

of leaves changing and falling away

the town has gathered with no delay

to honor their son who’s found his way

back from the battlefield — let us pray

and honor him on this Veterans Day.

Theebs admits that the poems in “Somnambulist” may be on the pessimistic side, darker than what he usually pens for the city.

“These are absolutely different than the poems I write for the city. They are darker, edgier, and ultimately, a more honest reflection of me as an artist and an individual,” Theebs said.

A 2013 graduate of Northeastern University, Theebs holds a degree in English. As the city’s poet laureate, he said his biggest impact has been in creating the Written Word Writer’s Group.

“It's a wonderful collaborative environment for people who are passionate about writing to meet and hone their craft together. It's grown over the past few years into a something I am truly proud of.”

Theebs is considering compiling a book of poems from people living in the city.

“Right now, it's just an idea, but if there is enough interest from the public, it's a project I would happily embark on,” Theebs said.

Somnambulist will be available for purchase on Amazon for $15 and on Theebs’ website, Also That, for $10.