Rereading or Practicing Surrealism? Method: short poems from novels

One final note. As I am finishing this text, I open my copy of Breton’s L’Amour fou, a(nother) book in his trilogy of novels dedicated to the unfolding of unexpected encounters and coincidences. A ticket falls out on which is printed the following command: “Please read carefully.” I do. Or rather, I read that line several times, since I don’t have my reading glasses with me, and what follows it is printed in type so painfully small that it devolves into wavering black squiggles, a drawing perhaps, another block of excised text. Definitely not words. Continue reading Rereading or Practicing Surrealism? Method: short poems from novels

Fall Semester Sonnet

Insomniac, I wake, open the envelope of the day and shove another act inside as if the day were expandable, made of pleats, an extraordinary accordion capable of melody every time I squeeze, not some exhausted drone, a whine or tumble of falling keys, of rain-soaked shoes, of numb-finger stitches, belated appointments and warmed-over meals, the bones of my spine dully aching, rain dashing at … Continue reading Fall Semester Sonnet

Another kind of wildness

A sonnet that begins with words yanked, one from each line of “returning the books to their shelves” by Bernadette Mayer. city time         19          stream taxi it mulch then window nothing books cold phone shelves Feeling far from the city finally in Desolation. Time to walk and stretch and swim and think until 19 o’clock in the evening when I hope we will eat a … Continue reading Another kind of wildness

How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house

Paper wasps in the mailbox might seem a potent metaphor for a writer: you never do know what you will find when you go out to collect the daily mail. Often enough, alas, something that stings. But sometimes the wasps that arrive aren’t figures of speech; sometimes they really are industrious insects, just minding their business in a place where we don’t want them. One … Continue reading How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house