Processing Through Poetry: Appreciating CA Conrad’s While Standing in Line for Death

While Standing in Line for Death is the embodiment of grief.

This book speaks bravely about the neglected hate crime in which the speaker’s boyfriend, Earth, was raped and murdered.

Within these pages, the speaker wades through injustices, death being the most common, “they leave the sobbing to the survivors” (“Jupiter 4”).

Throughout this collection, it becomes known that poetry, to the speaker, is not only a process of grief, but a process of justice.

Poetry is “kicking in the door” (“Poetry is short for KICKING IN THE DOOR”), “demanding love for the world” (“Saturn I”) and making “room for all of us in here” (“Neptune I”).

Poetry, to the speaker, is not only important and relevant for every living person, but also for those that are no longer living.

While Standing in Line for Death is very transparent about its process.

Preceding certain poems, the speaker makes eye contact with the reader & speaks about speaking.

The book includes links to multimedia, readings of poems & videos documenting where CA Conrad was when inspiration struck them.

Five Stars for bravery.

Five Stars for content.

Five Stars for poetic form (each poem looks like its own body).

Five Stars for originality.

Image result for ca conrad while standing in line for death
Wave Books, 2017

Special thanks to my friend Matt Clifford for lending me his copy.

Sara Khayat was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is editor-in-chief of Paper Plane Pilots. Her mind is full of wildflowers, ladybugs and grey matters. Give her a shout and she’ll give you a whisper. 




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