When I first learned about techniques like erasure and collage I got all excited about what happened to the language within the poem. I started writing all of my poems like this. But something changed. I grew frustrated with its meaninglessness, or at least, its meaninglessness to me. I started to find these poems boring. A cute line here or there and that was the end for me. Eventually it all started sounding the same. I still love the techniques and believe they have the potential to reach parts of ourselves we can’t reach by staring at a blank page trying to write a POEM. The limits of the form allow us to dig deeper, if we’re willing to put in the time. For these poems, I used collaged. I chose words slowly. Answers aren’t laid out, but if I succeeded, then there exists something in the layer underneath the words. These poems are my battle for intention, while still adventuring in language.
from Your Trouble is Ballooning
We conviction machines, raise through the dry to cave under agents—high,
even after the back address, programming still weathers off rice & down into the
revolution. This time, move houses from movie-like doorways, those scalpels
so broken, the incisions hostage, their shouldered stairways of dashing laughter,
watermelons—Chinese restaurant— with whatever sexual positions jack-wedged
into exclusion under the passive hardware of delay & arbitrary, & bereft, & you know
what I mean. Until China scratches, we briefcase ourselves—transaction shrunk critical:
the sheaves corner back insights, reveal civilization, the clasp in blonde operations
of submitting, rising through the appetite like a curb likely, or a skyscraper imbued
with election— all the drown & tiring, those iron arches, just gathering back—
that limpid pool, masked upon the night of draw, repaired of all woodpeckers, as if
by copied blunders— how remote the tenderness removed from the snow
of this forgetting, like remembering and forgetting—the divided, jack-hammered
I travel to Caligari
the mistakes, who teased
our bony cherries
in this playground?
we only reinvent absorption.
I am Married and Insubstantial
as a stain
to this field,
a skirmish and flyswatter
It tousles with suitcases, a stowed everything
flung in fifteen interesting lives
and put there, and business to your Chinese,
to your Madrid—startled waking, curse
meeting to fell you. From purse, the balm
of coupling. From the sips in the row,
the pages of being. Alcohol gets up
and goes into the hotel, wondering home.
My room grazes your stadium. The flyer
is underneath to us. And the bells lead.
Burning Town; Starlight
Roofs calm in fields and night. Towns can be blood-stained or tiny.
She opened by nude envelopes lapsing on her inquisition, the thief fixing by her tread.
They oxidized this way with clovering water and opaque halves and coral searching her.
The body of the moment she seeks: only stained glass. The land a dying village.
But they wreck the night and so are lights and flicker and repeat this fire.
Men may not watch history, a summer execution as it is, and they passage.
She fails her star as wide-eyed field: burning, measured by water.
then said individually
to twine music in
plaster cackle: quietly, character
to borrow a parrot maybe or
that footnote there, that collarbone
now fleeting never believed
to taste some fists or
a letter even. An aquarium of
heroes muted (god blurs like)
“Mother voice dirty porcelain.” Or
the hem that gullies in only
my gulping pockets. Or, “wrong” not
wrong, all interrupted, the century
days of diagonal dust in
library creases, at puddle
sanded widows on a staircase in
suspension. Birds concealed
and leading measured chalk.
Each circle is sharper today. The feather is against the laundromat and the cherry is
against the satellite dealership rakishly escaping in air. Your trouble is ballooning. Too
slick this knocking in the refrigerator, these orgasms between mixed ankles like play
commandos. Animals devour like capitalists glinting beneath designer button lint,
hanging by pedagogy and ring fingers. Whistling and bees scar the city. Each branch,
like promises bearing above classification. Humming this sincerity. Humming this
deadened commentary for all that bewildered grief and structure. Willed in the driver’s
seat is a companion.