Saturday, March 26, 2022

As: a history, an outline

As: a history, an outline” is a set of poems I’ll share by link here (at the end), composed 45 years ago.

During the summer of my 29th year, I got involved with a largely-disappointing tome of poems, The Young American Poets, a very thick thing which had been published nearly a decade earlier (1968, Paul Carroll, ed.). It had many good lines in its lot of forgettable verse. Nearly each poem had some good lines—“good” there mirroring my preferences. I underlined each.

Next, I copied each preferred line by typewriter (years before consumer “word processing” platforms came along), and cut each line from its page, resulting in many hundreds of short textual noodles. Then, during episodes of entrancement,
I grouped the lines on my floor, first as regions of tens of lines (piles of text noodles) that shared an emergent spirit of sensibility, as if each line had its own integral gravity.