My Feelings

My Feelings
Nick Flynn

“[These poems are] buzzing, stinging plunges into the complicated colony of self. . . . [Flynn’s] songs of experience hum with immediacy.”The New York Times

One of NPR's Best Books of 2015
One of Brazos Bookstore's Best Books of 2015
One of Buzzfeed's Best Poetry Books of 2015

Featured in Rachel Eliza Griffiths' Year in Reading at The Millions

About the Book

The daring and intimate new book by poet and memoirist Nick Flynn, “a champion of contemporary American poetry” (NewPages)
. . . the take from his bank jobs, all of it


will come to me, if I can just get him to draw me

a map, if I can find the tree, if I can find


the shovel. And the house, the mansion he

grew up in, soon a lawyer will pass


a key across a walnut desk, but even this

lawyer will not be able to tell me where this


mansion is.


—from “Kafka”
In My Feelings, the author makes no claims on anyone else’s. These poems inhabit a continually shifting sense of selfhood, in the attempt to contain quicksilver realms of emotional energy—from grief and panic to gratitude and understanding.

Additional Reviews

“This collection tells it ‘slant,’ to borrow from Emily Dickinson—using indirection and layered imagery to address difficult moments. . . . My Feelings offers no easy answers, yet the writing and the desire for transcendence make the journey compelling.”The Washington Post

“Flynn is a keen observer. . . . Flynn’s collection reminds us that feelings come from somewhere, often dark places, and they are not self-indulgent or gratuitous, but essential, and can be transformed in the realm of the poem.”Houston Chronicle

My Feelings is unafraid to claim the mind’s dark and self-destructive corners as its own. . . . Flynn’s savage lines and elegantly unraveling syntax reconcile the personal, the cultural, and the unbearable with the vital, redemptive power of pain.”Interview Magazine

“I doubt there’s anything—play, memoir, poem, grocery list—that Nick Flynn has written or will write that I won’t want to read. . . . My Feelings overflows with grief, terror, anguish, guilt, and desire, and these emotions turn into one another everywhere, stemmed by the levees of Flynn’s lean, precise, often uncapitalized and understated lines.”—Virginia Quarterly Review

“Flynn explores appetite and grief, clarity and absurdity, in lines of great technical skill and feeling. . . . Though there is grief and loss in Flynn’s poems, there is comfort in life’s continuity, and the unknowing is rich with possibility.”Publishers Weekly
“From the first moment I looked up from a page Nick Flynn had written on, I was a goner: I wasn’t where I used to be; I went somewhere with him, into consciousness itself, into time, into a story so shattered that only poetry could begin to tell it. Here he is again, writing as if his life depends on it, using every trick he can find to carve the tunnel through the mountain. Words are what he uses; silence is the sound they make. Nick Flynn keeps resuscitating himself, and in doing so he refreshes and reaffirms the personal lyric as a crucial and necessary art. I read Nick Flynn’s poetry to feel alive.”—Marie Howe

“What haunting poems burn in My Feelings, mirrored halls of memory leading from ‘The When and the How’ to the erasure of the unnameable in the title poem, and all the hiding places—half dream, half embers and ash—wherein is offered to us a jewel, a cloud, a deliverance. It radiates with the vision of the desert saints with its own parables of the present (‘Belly of the Beast,’ ‘Put the Load on Me,’ ‘Once the Elephant Is Gone’), thirsty for possession of what remains there of a self, myself. Astounding.“—Roberto Tejada

“Flynn is non-linear but you don’t need a map because you’ll want to take risks with him—he bonds us with words, and vulnerability, providing a cradle for our own feelings.”Washington Independent Review of Books