10.30.2017

implicit question mark

Let the last line swerve a little.

10.29.2017

counted and found wanting

The Instagram poet with a massive albeit abased audience.

10.28.2017

vital organ

A good poem while entering the body via the brain, will lodge itself under the sternum, close by vital organs, the heart and the lungs.

10.27.2017

room with a view

Nature poetry that seemed to have been written by someone staring out a window.

10.23.2017

ship rebuilt while at sea

We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.

Otto Neurath, Empiricism and Sociology, ed. Marie Neurath and Robert S. Cohen (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1973).

Poets are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.

10.22.2017

forward speaking

One hopes a book becomes a tongue that won’t be still.

10.21.2017

craft spirit

Perhaps we need less of the creative spirit and more of the attention to craft.

10.19.2017

upon this rock

With this word I found the whole poem.

10.18.2017

preferred to proffer his own

It became apparent that when he’d said that he loved poetry, he meant his own.

10.16.2017

it's time

   Hegel said that art was a thing of the past. It pleases me to say: to the contrary, poetry is a question for the future, so much so that the future itself belongs to poetry, is poetry. Without poetry there will be no future. The time that would see poetry die will itself be just another death.

   Poetry does not have a time: it is time.

Adonis, "A Language That Exiles Me,"(boundary 2 / Spring 1999), translated by Pierre Joris

10.15.2017

what is was

What it was as art, was not immediately evident.

10.14.2017

denatured poetry

The critic advocated for a denatured poetry wherein any emotional response had been stripped from the words.

10.10.2017

clean copy

The editor delivered the bad news: The proofreader had no questions about the text.

10.09.2017

taking umbrage

Except for the first, each line of the poem struggles to get out from under the shadow of the prior line. (The first line vies with the title to be recognized and heard.)

10.08.2017

internal space

The meditation was so unremittingly blah, I suggested the poet might need to hire an ‘interiority decorator’.

10.07.2017

required rebel

Slavishly we imitate; and slavishly, rebel.

—Mignon McLaughlin, Aper├žus: Aphorisms of Mignon McLaughlin (Brabant Press), introduction by Josh Michaels.

10.05.2017

not response but responsibility

People who accuse poets of obscurity never seem to question the reader’s responsibility in the transaction.

10.04.2017

words for the taking

Artists need materials. Musicians need instruments. Poet, please don’t complain when words are all about you, free for the taking.

10.03.2017

pixel count

If the lyric poem is a pinhole camera exposing single images from a life, the biography is a large format pixelated picture, but no matter the page count, a biography is always a life over-simplified.

10.02.2017

continuous experience

Reading the long poem on his e-reader he had the suspicion that someone somewhere was still typing the lines, trying to stay a page or two ahead his eyes.