C. Liegh McInnis is the type of artist where you are never sure what to expect from his work. His work, as is his mind, is cluttered, perplexing, often intriguing, and at times vague, but never boring. So when he said to me, “I wrote this book to keep from going insane,” my first thought was, “from going insane?” His works do not always smack of sanity, often insane enjoyment where he has the ability to make the profane quite sacred. Yet, my knowing C. Liegh as a student and now as a colleague did not prepare me for the first few pages of this book. After winding and trudging my way through half of this book, I thought, “My God, the man has gone off the deep end.” It literally horrified me. It takes on God, society, and himself in a manner that makes you pray (hope) that he is a genius; for if not, he surely is a madman. Confessions: Brainstormin’ from Midnight ‘til Dawn is the most open and honest piece of work by a poet that I have ever read. And yet his desire for emotional and psychological clarity does not dampen or overshadow his literary skill. In the same poem, C. Liegh raises his fists toward God and shakes them defiantly and is still able to sing His praises. Then, with the quick turn of a phrase, he makes us realize the hermit inside all of us and damns those of us who are unable to divorce ourselves from the arbitrary regulations of society which breed dependency. Finally, he walks the lines of love and lust so eloquently that even the most pristine of virgins opens at lest one eye to his words of seduction. What can I say? C. Liegh never fails to surprise and entertain my mind. Even when he fails as a poet with his oft times too lengthy poems, there are enough energetic couplets and imagery to keep you wading the waters, waiting for more. By the end I was exhausted from this roll-a-coaster of the “Poet’s” emotions. This book proves that some of us wish to be poets, and others are born poets who cannot escape the voices and the images in their minds. C. Liegh is a poet of his times. He is profanely sacred and should be treated accordingly.
Dr. Marie O’Banner-Jackson, Professor
Jackson State University