Thursday, September 24, 2015

TtD supplement #36 : seven questions for Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. Abel’s work has appeared in numerous periodicals, and his chapbooks have been published by above/ground press and JackPine Press. Abel’s first book, The Place of Scraps (Talonbooks), was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Un/inhabited, Abel’s second book, was co-published by Project Space Press and Talonbooks.

His poems “allegory,” “allusion,” “connotation” and “hyperbole” appear in the sixth issue of Touch the Donkey.

Q: The poems you submitted are part of, as you wrote, an excised section of what ended up as your second published collection:
All of these pieces are from the same conceptual project as Un/inhabited, but were not published in that book for thematic reasons. Here’s a brief description of the project:
These pieces are constructed entirely from public domain novels. On Project Gutenberg, there are 91 freely available Western novels that I copied and pasted into a single word document. That document ended up being over 10,000 pages. I then searched for words that related to the social and political aspects of land. “allegory,” “allusion,” “connotation,” and “hyperbole” diverge from the main conceptual project, but continue to explore issues of context, textual surface and reading processes.
Given that the work fits so clearly into a specific project, I’m curious about what happens to such material after it has been removed from the finished work. Does it become the ‘bonus’ material of Un/inhabited, or might it fall into a further project? Or might this be the only home it sees?

And how much material was removed? Was this it, or was there more?

A: After I finished writing Un/inhabited, there was a lot of material that essentially fell to the cutting room floor. I had been writing excessively, and knew that there would have to be substantial cuts for the project to be thematically coherent. As a result, there were many threads that had to be removed entirely. Some of those threads (minority, oil, afeared, etc.) were closely related to main conceptual project, but, for one reason or another, didn’t fit perfectly. Those threads were probably the most difficult to cut. Other threads (maps, speakers, urgency, etc.) were interesting explorations and worked individually, but were easy to separate from the main project. However, as the project continued, there were several threads that emerged that had coherent and discrete themes that weren’t dependent on the pieces in Un/inhabited. One of those threads explored the deployment of literary terms, and, surprisingly, seemed to be supported by the source text. That thread included many pieces: allegory, allusion, connotation, denouement, dialogue, flash back, hyperbole, identity, metaphor, motif, narrative, personification, simile, symbol, and theme.

To be honest, after I cut those pieces, I wasn't really sure what to do with them. The pieces in Un/inhabited (settler, territory, frontier, etc.) worked partially because they explored themes of indigeneity, land use and ownership. Those pieces were actively working towards the destabilization of the colonial architecture of the western genre. But what were these other pieces doing? What did an exploration of the context surrounding the deployment of the word “allusion” accomplish?

I think, if I were to guess at an answer to my own question, that the thread of literary terms engages with an aspect of the western genre that is, at the very least, unusual. You don’t often think about the western genre being rich with metaphors or allusions or symbols, and, perhaps, it isn’t. But those words are there. Those words are doing something that we don’t normally associate with the traditional foundations of literary studies. There is an exploration here that, I think, subverts the tendencies of literary analysis by compressing and recontextualizing common analytic diction.

Right now, these pieces are not part of a separate project. But they easily could be. I think there’s more there to dig through. Other approaches that could be taken.

Q: Is this how you have been building your manuscripts-to-date, through experimenting with an expansiveness before cutting away to hone the manuscript as a self-contained project? And what percentage of a manuscript might be cut away before you are left with a finished work?

A: For the most part, yes. When I was writing The Place of Scraps, I made a conscious decision to just write as much as I could and then trim the manuscript back later. I had done this partly because I knew that I needed write in order to figure out what was good, what was bad, what was useable, and what had to go. I like your description. Experimenting with an expansiveness before cutting away. Here, I think the experimentation does accurately describe at least part of my process. There’s a certain amount of trial and error that was required for writing The Place of Scraps, and it was often necessary to write through the error before stumbling on something that clicked. Admittedly, with TPOS, about a quarter of all of the writing I did for that project didn’t work and was cut from the final publication.

Things were a bit different for Un/inhabited. The process of exploration through error was much longer, more tedious, and was often paralyzed by the expansiveness of the source text. Each search query I made (and subsequently each piece that became part of the larger conceptual project) had an indeterminable outcome. And, worse, when I began the project, I had no idea what direction to go in or which ideas to pursue. The process tended towards exploring and querying in any and all directions. The result, with Un/inhabited, was that only about a quarter of all the material I produced ended up in the final published version. Which, of course, left a substantial amount of material unpublished and unused.

Q: How did you arrive at such a collage-construction of writing expansively around and through a conceptual framework? Who or what have your structural models been over the course of your work to date?

A: It’s tough to say exactly how I arrived at this model. I think, at least partly, expansive writing comes from the understanding that the conceptual project could, potentially, be limitless. Or that the full conceptual project could be far too lengthy to publish. But, I think, I came to this model of writing because there were very few other Indigenous writers exploring Indigeneity through conceptual writing. So far, I’ve found that conceptual frameworks can allow for different kinds of understandings, different kinds of readings, and different kinds of engagement with Indigeneity.

I think, also, that the concept, as far as I’ve used it, has really allowed me to shift the focus of my writing away from myself and onto other texts. My personal engagement with Indigenous ideas and issues as a member of the Nisga’a Nation, as an intergenerational survivor of the Canadian residential school system, and urban Indigenous person has primarily been mediated through text and the materiality of books. The concept allows me to put those books front and centre.

As far as structural models go, I’ve learned a great deal from many different writers and artists. And my work itself is entirely dependent on the work of others. But the conceptualists that I find very useful to learn from include Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place, M. NourbeSe Philip, and many more.

It’s strange, though. It was only after I finished TPOS that I finally read Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip. I’ve always thought that Zong! and TPOS have a lot in common. And it would have made sense for me to read Zong! before I wrote TPOS. But for some reason I missed it, and stumbled into erasure and found text almost by accident.

Q: What do you feel that conceptualism allows you to explore and articulate that you might not have been able to otherwise?

A: So far I think conceptualism has primarily allowed me to articulate a more complex relationship between Indigenous nationhood, textual surface, and foundational literatures. I'm sure, though, that there are many other things that conceptualism could potentially work towards. For me, I think, the most important aspect of using a conceptual framework in my writing was that it allowed me to imagine Indigeneity outside of the tropes of poetry.

Q: Has your writing changed the way you see or understand yourself as Nisga’a? Have your researches expanded or clarified your knowledge, or are you working already from a foundation that is simply being articulated?

A: That’s an interesting question. I would probably say yes. Often, when I’m writing, I’m thinking about how I construct my identity as a Nisga’a person, and, more broadly, how foundational and popular knowledges inform my identity as an Indigenous person. As I write through those foundational texts, as I readjust, question and subvert them, I am unsettling that knowledge and creating a space where identity can be constructed outside of the colonial apparatus.

Q: I interviewed Armand Garnet Ruffo for Jacket2 a while back (http://jacket2.org/commentary/short-interview-armand-garnet-ruffo), and we discussed the line between writing a resistance and writing a presence. Where do you find your work along that same spectrum?

A: I think Armand Ruffo brings up an important point. That if your writing is only resistant, only oppositional, only focused on decolonization, you kind of end up writing yourself into a corner. That resistance alone is somehow insubstantial and unsustainable. More or less, this makes a lot of sense to me, and I think it’s exceptionally important to balance out that resistance with presence. Or perhaps balance out decolonization with resurgence.

In terms of where my writing falls on that spectrum, I hope that both resistance and presence are there. Primarily, the texts that I’ve focused on as source texts have all been written from a settler-colonial perspective, and, I think, have pointed towards the kinds of foundational knowledges that should be resisted. My challenge, so far, has been to articulate an Indigenous presence from within those texts. TPOS is probably my most accessible example of this. From within Barbeau’s voice comes my own voice, an Indigenous voice. In that resistance and disassembly of Barbeau’s writing an Indigenous presence emerges.

Q: Finally, who do you read to reenergize your own work? What particular works can’t you help but return to?

A: Usually, I return to poetry. But lately I’ve been spending a lot of time reading non-fiction and returning to non-fiction:

Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition by Glen Coulthard
The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
Decolonization and the Decolonized by Albert Memmi
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
Dancing On Our Turtle’s Back by Leanne Simpson
Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto by Taiaiake Alfred
After Canaan by Wayde Compton

Sunday, September 13, 2015

TtD supplement #35 : seven questions for Jennifer Krovonet

Jennifer Kronovet is the author of the poetry collection Awayward and the chapbook CASE STUDY: WITH. She co-translated The Acrobat, the selected poems of Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in A Public Space, Aufgabe, Best Experimental Writing 2014 (Omnidawn), Bomb, Boston Review, Fence, the PEN Poetry Series, Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics (Black Ocean), and elsewhere. She has taught at Beijing Normal University, Columbia University, and Washington University in St. Louis. A native New Yorker, she currently lives in Guangzhou, China.

Her poems “John Langshaw Austin (1911-1960),” “Letter,” “The Cold of Syntax,” “Narrative Theory,” “Corpus Analysis of Jennifer Kronovet’s Poetry Collection Awayward” appear in the sixth issue of Touch the Donkey.

Q: Tell me about the five poems “John Langshaw Austin (1911-1960),” “Letter,” “The Cold of Syntax,” “Narrative Theory,” “Corpus Analysis of Jennifer Kronovet’s Poetry Collection Awayward.”

A: At some point, I convinced myself that it would be sensible to get a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. I loved taking those classes, being introduced to new methodologies with which to think about language, new stories to explain all the questions about language I ask over and over again, in my work and in my head.

Years later, I thought it would be sensible and interesting to write little essays about the factoids and personalities I came across in linguistics, but just like my other sensible plans, the project morphed, became entwined with poetry, the language I think with on the page. These poems—they are and aren’t essays, they are experiments and research and reportage.

I always found the very term “speech acts” to be so hopeful and concrete about what language can do, and then I found Austin to be such an interesting figure. Hangul, the Korean script—I’m a little obsessed with its history and design. I’ve been trying to find a way to include informative information in something that is a poem for a long time. “Corpus Analysis” is true in that I actually treated my first book of poetry as a data set, and is untrue in that my methods yielded very unreliable results that I further adulterated. The other two poems are a bit different, they more try to evoke something I sense about how language works and feels.

Q: How do these poems fit in with what else you’ve been working on since the publication of your first book? Are these poems part of some kind of larger structure, or is it too early to tell?

A: I recently did complete a manuscript of poems that all dance around in the field of linguistics; it’s called Loan Words. Or, at least, I think the pieces in Loan Words might be poems. In it, there are also case studies, semantic analyses, dialogues, reinvented definitions, and many other forms that are also in the form of a poem. Some of the poems have real facts, some are vehicles to do new research without the constraints of science, and in some, I am the subject of study. One of my professors, when I was studying linguistics, off-handedly mentioned that many of the most important applied linguists were mothers who studied their children. I was lucky to have that seed, to suddenly be able to observe with purpose when my son was born. The manuscript started then, in some ways, and then moved further from home as he grew.

Q: How does this differ from the studies that formed the poems of Awayward?

A: In Awayward, the experiment that the poems were based on was that of living in China and seeing myself as foreign. I tried to position my brain to see the new as a given and to see myself as a culture I was encountering for the first time. There is no good definition of the lyric, but, for a minute, let’s say that the lyric was the muscle I was using to write. Or the compass I was using to explore.

The studies in the current manuscript—they are mutts. They are in relation to the essay but think with the lyric. They are written from an I intent on being, not the lyric I, but the non-I that is clearly an I in linguistic studies. Is the problem of using language to describe language like the problem of saying I in a poem? I’m still working on that.

Q: One of the more curious pieces in your submission is the poem “Corpus Analysis of Jennifer Kronovet’s Poetry Collection Awayward.” How did this piece come about?

A: In real life, real linguists look at large data sets of speech or writing from a large subset of people to learn things about how language is used. That is a very quick and dirty definition of corpus linguistics. I looked at a small data set by one person—me—to make up something about how I use language.

Do most people, after a few years, wonder if they actually wrote their first book? I did write Awayward, a version of me did, at least. In that poem, I studied my book as if I didn’t have access to the book, as if this data obtained through corpus analysis was all I would ever know about the book, the place it came from, the person who wrote it, etc. The poem is about as far as you can get from legit linguistics work, and yet, I feel like by using the tools linguists use, I created a generative and playful distance from my own writing, found another way to study language with language in this endless room of mirrors I’m playing inside.

Q: Does it actually feel as though a different person wrote Awayward? I understand the feeling, and yet, it wasn’t that long ago that Awayward was published. Do you consider that your approach, as well as the poems themselves, has really changed that much over the past five years?

A: It’s not that I feel disconnected from the book—I think I’m still writing out of the same concerns—I feel disconnected from the act of writing it, from a kind of access to and trust in language that’s changed for me. I don’t give myself over to sound and syntax and disjunction with the same hopefulness, although I’m glad I did. Maybe I will again. I think there’s also something about giving readings that leads to distance. Once you read the same poem in public a couple of times, it becomes separate, a thing. The book is an object outside my head, which is amazing—I’m always trying to refresh the way I think.

Q: I’m curious about the idea of approaching a poetry manuscript as a “data set.” What did you mean by this? I’m curious, too, about who some of your influences have been for the kinds of poems you’ve been writing. Has it been a handful of writers influencing the larger canvas of your work, or a series of writers and writings that have produced works that have influenced you in smaller, accumulative ways?

A: I mean it totally literally. I plugged the words from Awayward into a program that generated a list of the words in the book from most used to least. The poet Brett Fletcher Lauer showed me how to do this. He used to do it with his work, to see how he could use a really specific word again and again without realizing it. Sometimes he thought the word was a crutch and took it out, but sometimes it just means the word is where you are. Until someone pointed it out to me, I had no idea how many times I mention knives in Awayward. I didn’t know I kept going there. Of course, it makes sense: my father collected knives my entire childhood, took me to knife shows, subscribed to the magazine Knife. I was raised with knives in my brain and they tore through the poems without my realizing it.

There are a bunch of writers I read before and during writing Loan Words who expanded my sense of the hybrid, of what can be done when the lyric marries other forms, how fact can enter a poem: Bhanu Kapil’s Humanimal, Thomas Sayers Ellis’s Skin, Inc., CD Wright’s One with Others, Cathy Park Hong’s Dance Dance Revolution, Lisa Robertson’s Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office of Soft Architecture, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee. These books blow my mind with their awesomeness. I had Susan Howe and Rosmarie Waldrop in my thoughts too because I often do.

Q: Finally, who do you read to reenergize your own work? What particular works can’t you help but return to?

I’m very lucky to have had two amazing teachers whose work continues to teach me when I read it: Mary Jo Bang and Carl Phillips. I often like to read an Oppen poem. I can reread Inger Christensen’s alphabet over and over and be moved differently each time. A Danish friend actually just bought me a copy of the original, which I’m excited to look at alongside Susanna Nied’s brilliant translation. But to be honest, I love reading new books. I’m more likely to be reenergized by something I’ve never read before mainly because there is so much exciting work coming out from the US and abroad. And great presses and friends point me to the things I’ll love. Right now I’m reading a lot of contemporary Chinese poetry in translation because I’m living in China. Zephyr Press is publishing terrific, essential books. Reading them is one of the ways I’m trying to get my real life in China to meet up with the poetry land that’s in my head.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

TtD supplement #34 : seven questions for Jason Christie

Jason Christie is the author of i Robot, Canada Post, and Unknown Actor. His chapbook, Government, published by above/ground press, was shortlisted for the 2014 bpNichol Chapbook Award. Jason lives in Ottawa with his wife and their one-year old son. He is the author of two other chapbooks with above/ground press: 8th Ave 15th St NW. (2004) and Cursed Objects (2014).

His poems “History of bones,” “Ejecta flora fauna” and “As seen in a book of poetry about TV” appear in the sixth issue of Touch the Donkey.

Q: Tell me about the poems “History of bones,” “Ejecta flora fauna” and “As seen in a book of poetry about TV.”

A: The poems are from a new manuscript of poetry about objects.

“History of bones” is from a section called “GOVERNMENT” in which I play with the myth of Jason and The Argonauts as it was depicted in the 1963 movie featuring the animation work of Ray Harryhausen. It all began with the memory of the scene in which Jason fights the skeleton army. I’ve been fascinated/haunted by that scene ever since seeing it as a kid. Now it strikes me as a great critique of a potential leader of the people and the polis. “History of bones” captures that feeling of throwing words at a problem, like skeletons raised to fight without any idea which side they are supporting. History is made from their bones.

In “Ejecta flora fauna,” from a section of the manuscript called “The Follies,” I situate language into an unstable geography and instead of reeling from the instability, the shifts and pulses set language to ringing. I'm hoping there is uncertainty in the poem which doesn’t come across as full of anxiety, instead I hope the uncertainty suggests that flux and slippage are normal and natural processes, contrasted against stasis and rigidity as unnatural. angela rawlings once said to me that every time we try to freeze language, or capture it, it dances away, amorphous and whimsical. That insight has guided much of my writing and reading over the years.

With “As seen in a book of poetry about TV,” from a section of the manuscript called “Money Won’t Change Me,” I try to capture that headlong descent I’ve experienced late at night while deep-diving through television channels or clicking through websites. The commercials and ads slip and slide and sum up to an advertisement for a certain way of life. That’s probably why they can’t be aired during the day! They reveal too much about our lives. Ersatz, empty, desperate marketing, words hurled at a tired, haunted audience. This is my poem for critiquing my need to write poems and foist them upon my friends. It ends witch a take on how social media encourages us to divest of ourselves to entertain others and gives us nothing in return. It’s the worst job we’ve ever had!

Q: What is it about poetry that allows you such permission to explore, critique and argue? How did poetry, for you, become such an important critical device?

A: I try to foreground an experience of openness when writing poems. The movement of my mind through whatever I’m thinking echoes from a basal experience of language as sensation: visual, with how the words and letters look on the page; aural, with the sounds as the phonemes ricochet around in my mind. That kind of openness extends through the act of writing to engage with whatever I’m trying to apprehend; the attitude of openness requires exploration, but that word doesn’t quite feel right to me.

Exploration, critique and argument all carry a strong sense of self into confrontation with the unknown, the other, the challenge to master it, whereas I am very much not interested in approaching otherness with a compass, or rigorous argument. As a result of my desire to resist that manner of thinking, I find I try to subvert my ego or place boulders into my own path. Humour works in this way, to deflate my sense of self-importance, also contradiction and tangential meandering as soon as I realize I’ve dropped into lockstep mode, digressing into a love poem or focusing entirely on the sounds instead of the accumulation of sense. Of course, this all speaks to something I attempt to do, but the ego is a powerful force.

Using poems to sound the world around me was something that I did without even realizing it when I was younger. Poems were a tool to work through difficult thoughts or emotions, to try on different ideas. The characteristic of poems being flexible, concise and portable meant they could accompany me through all manner of experiences in my life without taking up too much room. I could write them on the go, while at work, while cooking dinner or in the bath. In that sense, poems became, a means of drawing a temporary boundary around a group of things in order to think about them, a semi-permeable container. Now the act of writing poetry is as much a part of my life as sleeping or eating. Not that it is as vital, but it is as pervasive. I’m always thinking about it in some way, or being open to it. I would also like to say that poems can offer a means of engaging with the world that doesn’t seem as thorough or demanding as prose (articles, stories, etc.). Poems don’t incur the same debt to faithfully reproduce a reality, they don’t necessarily depend upon that faculty for their sustenance, they can dwell more in the ephemeral, in the minutiae. A poem lets a vent into the whole pressure cooker and then bounces away on a pale horse.

In a lot of my new poems the rigidity of the form they take strains against the exuberance of the language within them, a tension which relates to the status of the object, everywhere bounded by its properties. I'm fascinated by objects and how we invest some with significance and then act with complete disdain or indifference toward others. There’s a kind of music I’ve been listening to a lot lately that operates this way on the sounds around us. Artists like Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), James Ferraro and Holly Herndon come to mind, but there are many others. They make music out of the accumulation of noise we experience online or in the background of our lives. So, clicks, beeps, soft chords and chimes, it all adds up to sounding like elevator music or smooth jazz played through a digital blender with your browser history thrown in. The noise of everyday life, the sonic objects, become the stuff of music. I hope I'm accomplishing something similar with everyday words and sounds in my poems, that the poems feel immediately familiar and yet they shift you just a bit into unease.

Q: Given you’ve produced some half-dozen or more books and chapbooks over the past decade-plus, as well as this current work-in-progress, how do you feel this engagement has developed? What do you feel you might be working toward?

A: I think I am constantly trying for a respectful understanding of otherness. I am trying to approach otherness without the violence of locating it (an impossible task, but worth keeping in the foreground of effort), thinking about otherness as in sharing proximity rather than a thinking comprised of otherness to reduce it to familiarity. I’m writing toward not taking myself too seriously and failing! I’m writing toward returning to kindness and gentleness as a tonic for authority and mastery. I’m not really writing toward anything. My friend, Jordan Scott, recently said that he thought of my writing as a lifelong pursuit, so I guess it'll all make sense at the end!

Q: What is, or at least has been so far, your normal process of putting together a manuscript?

A: I don’t know that I have a normal process, but putting together a manuscript usually starts with a lot of messy, awful poems (and sometimes never gets past that state). In the case of my current manuscript, I started with what I thought were three distinct books. I was working away on each of them and then noticed a lot of agreement and discussion between the poems in each of them. I threw the poems into one huge file and then pulled poems out until I was pleased with what was left. Now the manuscript is in four sections, one of which features the poems from GOVERNMENT, the chapbook you published through above/ground which is shortlisted for the bpNichol chapbook award, and another section is called Cursed Objects, the poems of which comprise a chapbook you recently accepted for above/ground. The other two sections are “The Follies” and “Money Won’t Change Me.” Poems from each section have been published in Poetry is Dead, and online at N/A Literary Journal.

In terms of the process of pulling together my other manuscripts, Canada Post arose from the ashes of my MA Thesis which I wrote under the guidance of Nicole Markotić. So that process was heavily involved with my research at the time and the pace of an institution.

i ROBOT started as a bunch of poems in Canada Post. Their tone and humour just didn't fit with the rest of the manuscript. I was reading some of them at the launch for the Post-Prairie Anthology from Talon, where I was approached by the publisher of Tesseract/Edge Speculative Fiction, Brian Hades, because he wanted to publish them. It was a dream come true! I cobbled them all together and then found I couldn’t stop writing them. The poems came almost effortlessly, wholly formed and required only minimal editing. I’ve never felt so much joy and satisfaction with writing as I did when working on that book.

Unknown Actor started as a book length poem which I then pulled apart and ground down over about five years. That was also a case of starting with a lot of material and then writing through it over and over and editing a lot. At first I thought it would be a whole bunch of numbered bits in a long serial poem, but it never really felt right. Sachiko Murakami helped me whittle away the dead ends until I could clearly see the material with which we were working. She also returned to me a focus upon kindness which I had misplaced.

Q: You seem to compose poems as groups or suites, whether as book sections or entire manuscripts. Jack Spicer once commented that poems can live alone no better than we can. Do you see your poetry in terms of grouping, or are you initially composing individual poems that end up in conversation?

A: Lately, I am writing poems in clusters more than individual poems. I’ve got a long-running daily poem that is accumulating bits when I remember to add to it in the mornings. I like the idea of poems that exist in a section of a book, but reach beyond to poems in other sections, or even other books. I often reuse titles, or images, or lines in that manner, like a hand extended. I once wrote a book’s worth of poems called Good Day in which each poem was also called Good Day. It was about the war that was starting up in Iraq. I have no idea where it is now.

Q: How close do you feel the current work-in-progress is to completion, and what might be coming next?

A: I think the current work-in-progress is nearly finished. I’m editing now. In terms of what’s next, I’m not too sure. I am writing some poems with my friend, Jake. I am slowly pulling together another batch of noise pieces to follow up some that I made while in Banff at the Leighton Artists’ Colony.

Q: Finally, who do you read to reenergize your own work? What particular works can’t you help but return to?

A: There are a few books that I keep within grasping range: Harryette Mullen’s S*PeRM**K*T, Michael deBeyer’s A Rural Night Catalogue, Ted Berrigan’s collected, H.D.’s collected, Michael Palmer’s Notes for Echo Lake, Robert Creeley’s collected, Jack Spicer’s collected, Erin Mouré’s Furious, Ring of Bone by Lew Welch. More recently, I’ve found Joseph Massey’s three books a potent way to get the kiln firing. I have a poem by John Barlow in a frame on my desk that I read often. I take Jake Kennedy’s Apollinaire’s Speech to the War Medic with me whenever I’m away from home.