Click here for PDF.
“ThirstLove,” “Nook and Boon. . .” and “Verbatim : Breaking News. . .” are pieces of a new manuscript I’m working on tentatively titled “Let’s Let.” Who knows as to why the title and why these pieces in it, at the moment? I don’t. But, even I can see that I’m working in two distinct “lyric” modes. One, “Verbatim,” I think, echoes and grows out of approaches I’ve used in books such as Winners Have Yet to Be Announced and But Here Are Small Clear Refractions. Some have called these books prose poetry, I call this form documentary lyric. As a form, it’s an attempt (far as I can gather) to employ the sub-fluent connections of “lyric” with a claim to a hyper-realistic truth, a sense of experience distilled, possibly best approached in documentary film or photography. The other form, in “ThirstLove” and “Nook and Boon. . .”, extends from my other books, Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue and Labors Lost Left Unfinished, and the as yet unpublished “Visiting Hours at the Color Line” in an attempt to morph sentences into dense, tonal experiments capable of supporting an intense collapse of thinking and feeling. The hope is that in reading the poems one can feel the pieces attempting, at once, to contemplate themselves and fathom their place in their worlds. Possibly, both forms might be thought of as an attempt to approximate a kind of portraiture somehow akin to the work of painters such as Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud. And, of course, wherever there’s poetry there’s always music. Or should be. McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation,” Mal Waldron’s “Lonely” and, maybe, Goapele’s song, “Play” : “I wanna know / what you want to do / what if I could say there wasn’t any rules.” Form like an instantaneous web in a flung open window.