I'm missing Denton, so I wrote it an abecedarian. It was a fun exercise, but I hope one day I can write a poem that's actually worthy of it. Read "Abecedarian for Little D" after the cut.
I really enjoyed this recent Vulture feature with art critic Jerry Saltz. It got me thinking about what life would be like if art were even more public, more accessible, and more closely tied to our daily lives. It's a concept I've been obsessed with for a very long time. It's part of the impetus of this blog. I'm fascinated by the idea of making poetry, in particular, less insular and more approachable but no less complex. We're living through a partial realization of that dream by way of social media's influence on poetry, and poetry readership has never been higher. What a time to be alive, as they say. My interest in redeeming popular culture from an academic standpoint is longstanding, and in the last few years writing a blog that focuses on poetry/art and pop culture has seemed not only easier, but also more and more relevant.
Anyway, here's a middling sonnet about public art that can't decide how highbrow it really wants to be. Be gentle. I wrote it while eating a bowl of soup at my desk today.
Read "Sonnet for the David in the Subway" after the cut:
ON FEELING SOMETHING AFTER NOTHING
His breath on the phone,
like paper fans blinking closed:
a slumbering hope.
Your lover barking his laugh:
somewhere the road doubles back.
I worked on another revision today. I had the chance to read this draft at a faculty reading while I was teaching poetry workshops at Interlochen Arts Camp this summer. It was getting close, but it needed some tightening. I find that reading a poem out loud is the surest way to find out what it needs, what you need. It also helps with heavy subject matter like this. Even though it makes us feel vulnerable to share it, sometimes an audience reaction can remind us of how critical it is to share our stories.
CW: gun violence, death
Read "The Boy with My Name on His List" after the cut: