Literary links: ‘The Red Wheelbarrow,’ and a definition of postmodern novel

1. William Carlos Williams’s poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” —

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow
glazed with rain
water
beside the white
chickens.

— may be a scene the poet witnessed, as described in this Times article:

On July 18, in a moment of belated poetic justice, a stone will be laid on the otherwise unmarked grave of Thaddeus Marshall, an African-American street vendor from Rutherford, N.J., noting his unsung contribution to American literature.

“When we read this poem in an anthology, we tend not to think of the chickens as real chickens, but as platonic chickens, some ideal thing,” William Logan, the scholar who recently discovered Mr. Marshall’s identity, said in an interview.

The discovery doesn’t change the meaning, he said, but “knowing there was a man with a particular wheelbarrow and some chickens does help us understand the world the poem was embedded in.”

Williams’s 16-word poem, first published in 1923, was hailed as a manifesto of plain-spoken American modernism. Williams himself declared it “quite perfect.” A staple of classrooms and anthologies, it has inspired endless debates about its deeper meaning — how much of what, exactly, depends on the red wheelbarrow? — not to mention provided the name of an English-language bookstore in Paris, a craft beer from Maine and an episode of “Homeland.”

But Mr. Logan, a professor at the University of Florida who has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, may have taken the poem’s fullest measure yet. His roughly 10,000-word essay on the poem, published in the most recent issue of the literary journal Parnassus and titled simply “The Red Wheelbarrow,” considers the poem from seemingly every conceivable angle.

There are discussions of Williams’s aesthetic influences and composition habits. (Williams, a medical doctor by profession, sometimes wrote poems on prescription forms.) Mr. Logan also considers the history of hyphenation in the word “rainwater,” previous literary references to painted wheelbarrows, New Jersey ordinances concerning handcarts, and early-20th-century poultry trends.

“Who knew there was a fad for white chickens?” he said.

2. In a New Yorker article discussing “Fran Ross’s hilarious, badass novel, ‘Oreo,'” Danzy Senna writes this definition of the postmodern novel:

Aesthetically, “Oreo” has all the hallmarks of a postmodern novel in its avoidance of profundity and its utterly playful spirit. It draws no conclusions, and the quest leads to no giant, revelatory payoffs. [my emphasis] The father and his secret about her birth constitute, in the end—and without giving anything away—as absurdist a feminist send-up of the patriarchal myth as one could hope to find. At every turn, the novel embraces ambiguity. Its quest-driven plot is diverted by wordplay and meta-references to itself. In many ways, it feels more in line stylistically and aesthetically with Thomas Pynchon and Kurt Vonnegut than with Sonia Sanchez and Ntozake Shange, to name two other black female writers of Ross’s time.

Oreo never becomes a fully believable character, and this feels appropriate to the work’s spirit. The novel does not strive for realism; Ross is not trying to construct a seamless, plot-driven narrative or a sympathetic, three-dimensional main character. We are always aware of Oreo as a construct, and of her story as a construct. Puns, wordplay, standup-comedy riffs, menus, charts, tangents: the journey to find the father is just a chance for Ross to meander through her wicked and free imagination, and to push us toward a hyper-awareness of language itself. “Christine,” Ross writes, and she could be writing of herself, “was no ordinary child … she had her mother’s love of words, their nuance and cadence, their juice and pith, their variety and precision, their rock and wry.”

3. A definition of literary interpretation, and a warning about finding patterns, from a New Yorker piece about love-song lyrics by Adam Gopnik:

One should always be wary of a book by a scholar insisting that there is a pattern where before none has been seen, since scholars have an overwhelmingly strong confirmation bias in favor of patterns—finding patterns is what scholars do. The great art historian Leo Steinberg found the “line of fate” in the Sistine Chapel, which skewered figures from separate scenes into occult sentences, with the same excitement with which Percival Lowell had once found canals on the surface of Mars. These were illusory—but, more important, irrelevant. Interpretation is the teasing out into articulate words of a complicated sensation or experience. It’s not often the discovery of some other, completely different experience that the surface of the work was hiding. [my emphasis]

‘I guess we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll': Byronfest 2015

Exactly seven minutes into this year’s Byronfest on July 10 (see details from last year’s here), I saw and heard a ponytailed dude shouting a lot of F-words at another dude near the Carnival stage where the ’80s cover band Sunset Strip was soon to perform. Rumor had it that the fight had caused the band to break up and be unable to perform. But a person in position to know told me that the fight was between a stage hand and the merchandise guy. The show went on. (Someone else who also heard the fight claimed that “I slept with her; I been sleepin’ with her” was also shouted.)

Gorillas, bears, minions, pikachus, Scoobies.

Gorillas, bears, minions, pikachus, Scoobies.

The morning before the party started, one of the fest organizers saw me walking near the Century bar about 7 a.m. and he shouted at me, out his truck window: “Goin’ to the Century for shots before this shit starts, or what?”

Saturday rain, from under the Lions Club beer tent toward the Festival Stage.

Saturday rain, from under the Lions Club beer tent toward the Festival Stage.

I spent most of my Byronfest as a volunteer fetching beer, “Ritas” (Lime-A-Rita et al), and other beverages, and counting the distributions. A Byronfest organizer saw me drinking a bottle of water Friday evening and said to me, “Hey, you’re the beer supervisor, not the water supervisor.”

Kashmir covered Led Zeppelin songs Saturday night.

Kashmir covered Led Zeppelin songs Saturday night. “Robert Plant” seemed to be wearing a wig.

In their cover of “Moby Dick,” Kashmir’s drummer played a minutes-long drum solo, which involved both a timpani and a gong. I heard the whole solo, but I think I zoned out and my attention wandered a couple times.

Carnival reflected in the city building's west side.

Carnival reflected in the city building’s west side.

I heard a carnival barker trochaically yell, “STEP right UP, ya WIN.”

Phone checking in parallel, Saturday, under the Lions Club beer tent.

Phone checking in parallel, Saturday, under the Lions Club beer tent.

One of the Byronfest organizers asked me to fetch beer from the locked reefer while she borrowed my keys to get ice from the locked ice trailer. I said I’d just go with her to get the ice because if I gave her my keys, I’d have nothing to do but stand around and look pretty. She didn’t laugh.

Zipper.

Zipper.

My wife and I ate dinner at a restaurant just outside one of the festival entrances. “Look,” I said to her at 7:52 p.m. Friday, “people keep showing up to this thing.”

After I took this picture, I was told that this portable stage is licensed in Canada because great taxes would be paid to license it in the U.S. I don't have any reason to believe, or not believe, the stranger who told me that.

After I took this picture, I was told that this portable stage is licensed in Canada because great taxes would be paid to license it in the U.S. I don’t have any reason to believe, or not believe, the stranger who told me that.

I also brought soda to the local high school’s Key Club’s soda-selling tent. The advisor, who was in his first year, asked me whether I knew anything about another vendor who brought over a bucket of shaved ice and offered to trade it for free pop. I did not. Eventually, I was told, they made the exchange.

12

Friday night, I witnessed local TV anchor Whitney Martin take several attempts to throw a softball at the dunk-tank target before she ran up and pushed the target by hand and dunked a dude.

Magic Dave! Magic Dave asked me Saturday morning whom he should see about getting an extension cord to his performance location near his Magic Dave van. I didn't tell Magic Dave,

Magic Dave! Magic Dave asked me Saturday morning whom he should see about getting an extension cord to his performance location near his Magic Dave van. I didn’t tell Magic Dave, “Magic Dave, if you’re magic, why can’t you conjure your own electricity?”

Magic Dave brought my friend’s son up to participate in a trick involving red, white, and blue handkerchiefs becoming a U.S. flag. When Magic Dave finished the trick and said, “that really is the American flag,” the boy heckled from three feet away, “No, it isn’t!” My friend said his son had just seen the same trick done by a birthday party magician.

The reefer trailer for beer storage reflected in a serving table.

The reefer trailer for beer storage reflected in a serving table.

I wore a walkie-talkie during Byronfest. In a short duration, I heard: 1. a request for wasp spray to be brought to a ticket booth; 2. that some patron had put an admission wristband on too tight and wanted another; and 3. that an older gentleman wanted to bring his Coke onto festival grounds when signs clearly stated that no outside containers were permitted. But this man was the designated driver, and “he’s a veteran,” said the radio voice. I didn’t hear whether there was a dispensation.

At the parade Sunday, this blue-haired clown shouted,

At the parade Sunday, this blue-haired clown shouted, “How’s the party over here?” as he drove.

The parade announcer, seemingly reading from a script, described that there was a dunk tank fundraiser for a local preschool, and he encouraged the crowd to “go dunk Pastor Randy!”

Mo Pitney's Saturday night show. His vocal twang was strong for someone who grew up in Northern Illinois.

Mo Pitney’s Saturday night show. His vocal twang was strong for someone who grew up in Northern Illinois.

“In your arms, I’ve had the best, and I think the world should know,” sang a skinny dude I think was rising country star Mo Pitney during what looked like a practice or sound-check Saturday morning. I heard that line and thought, well, yeah, that pretty much sums up why anyone would ever write a love song.

Selfie with baby, foreground, and state's attorney, background.

Selfie with baby, foreground, and state’s attorney, background.

“I guess we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” said the lead singer of the band Prowler at their 11 a.m. performance at the Festival Stage. He also said something about waking up the citizens of Byron. He said this to a dozen or so audience members.

29

A light rain Saturday afternoon lasted ’til about 8 p.m.

This person held up the parade for at least 2 minutes as she photographed.

During the “old tractor” section of the parade, this photographer held up the entire procession for at least 2 minutes as she pressed buttons or something.

A friend of mine who also volunteered for Byronfest noted that one food vendor wore an apron that read, “Eat Dawn’s Taco.” These tacos were “deep fried, and they were good,” my friend said.

Unstill life: Goldfinch and tennis ball

A goldfinch landed just outside the door to my deck this morning. The tennis ball there is a little larger than regulation size (for scale), and the hazy areas are condensation on the door this humid morning. The goldfinch came a couple times to that spot but stayed away after my cat launched himself toward the bird from the indoor-side of the glass door.

2015_07_18 (1)

2015_07_18 (2)

2015_07_18 (3)

2015_07_18 (4)

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’

Reading this excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book “Between the World and Me” recently, I felt my mind changed by a text in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. I highly recommend reading this; this author’s ideas and voice are far better experienced directly than they would be summarized inadequately here by me. Some of my favorite parts, in which Coates is writing to his son, are copied below:

When Abraham Lincoln declared, in 1863, that the battle of Gettysburg must ensure “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” he was not merely being aspirational. At the onset of the Civil War, the United States of America had one of the highest rates of suffrage in the world. The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant “government of the people” but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term people to actually mean. In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. As for now, it must be said that the elevation of the belief in being white was not achieved through wine tastings and ice-cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land.

… The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy. This legacy aspires to the shackling of black bodies. It is hard to face this. But all our phrasing—race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy—serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body. And should one live in such a body? What should be our aim beyond meager survival of constant, generational, ongoing battery and assault? I have asked this question all my life. I have sought the answer through my reading and writings, through the music of my youth, through arguments with your grandfather, with your mother. I have searched for answers in nationalist myth, in classrooms, out on the streets, and on other continents. The question is unanswerable, which is not to say futile. The greatest reward of this constant interrogation, of confrontation with the brutality of my country, is that it has freed me from ghosts and myths.

Here are some others’ responses to this book. Here’s another.

‘I’m an asshole,’ sings Denis Leary

“Assholeness has had a resurgence,” said my wife after listening to Leary’s song from 1993. The song does seem to still be culturally applicable 22 years on.

‘What the hell is that?': A Thursday at the resale shop

Thursday, 2 July, 2015, at the Leydig Center resale shop, Dixon, Illinois, which shop seems to be located in an old factory. It takes in donations, as below, and what profits it makes go to local charities–a worthy cause. Of course, it’s also a whole store full of stuff people didn’t want, and this gives me a chance to observe the material culture of a certain cross-section of the rural Illinois population.

Exterior, drop-off department.

Exterior, drop-off department.

The sadness of a used "Excellence" poster. Also, note the purple-pink velour folding-wheeled chair -- maybe? -- to the left center. A woman asked the woman carrying it, "What the HELL is THAT?"

The sadness of a used “Excellence” poster. Also, note the purple-pink velour folding-wheeled chair — maybe? — to the left center. A woman asked the woman carrying it, “What the HELL is THAT?”

The world's saddest sample-photo: a dog, possibly abandoned, drinking from a mud puddle.

The world’s saddest sample-photo: a dog, possibly abandoned, drinking from a mud puddle.

 

Wood things.

Wood things.

Sure.

Sure.

In the kids' section!

In the kids’ section!

"Spoons"? How about "Spoons!"

“Spoons”? How about “Spoons!”

Apparently, recycling ceiling fans is a thing to do.

Apparently, recycling ceiling fans is a thing to do.

The first of 2 lavender-velour Bratz wall clocks I saw there today.

The first of 2 lavender-velour-trimmed Bratz wall clocks I saw there today.

An amalgam of a display.

An amalgam of a display. I like to look at such displays as accidental art installations.

Wall o' crutches.

Wall o’ crutches.

Doll on the left is frozen in the moment of being about to shove the doll to her right off the shelf.

Doll on the left is about to murder the doll to her right.

At left, "Solo in the Spotlight" Barbie. At right, "Leaders of the World" action figure of Benjamin Franklin, a "fully poseable figure" with "authentic changeable outfits."

At left, “Solo in the Spotlight” Barbie. At right, “Leaders of the World” action figure of Benjamin Franklin, a “fully poseable figure” with “authentic changeable outfits.”

The wall of fallen price tags. The sign to upper left says "Volunteers GIVE 200+ hours a day for you to have this wonderful store to find great bargains. Please tell someone if you see people changing prices, removing them, or just putting items into their pockets. Stealing is a crime, even worse when it is stealing from charities which is where our money goes. Please help us!"

The wall of fallen price tags. The sign to upper left says “Volunteers GIVE 200+ hours a day for you to have this wonderful store to find great bargains. Please tell someone if you see people changing prices, removing them, or just putting items into their pockets. Stealing is a crime, even worse when it is stealing from charities which is where our money goes. Please help us!”

Seeing this, my mom said "shoes have crept into here." It wasn't clear to me what "here" was: the dolls and Ortho sprayer section?

Seeing this, my mom said, “shoes have crept into here.” It wasn’t clear to me what was the definition of the “here” section: the dolls, Christmas wreaths, and Ortho sprayer section?

In addition to the "Justin Bieber: Always Be Mine" and the "Body Boggle" board games, I also say these titles: Chauvinist Pigs, Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be a Redneck If..., Think Tank, Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom, Mid-Life Crisis, Mulligan Madness Golfers Trivia Game, Strata 5 strategy game, and Speedy Graffiti and Probe word games.

In addition to “Justin Bieber: Always Be Mine” and “Body Boggle,” I also saw these other board game titles: Chauvinist Pigs, Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might Be a Redneck If…, Think Tank, Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom, Mid-Life Crisis, Mulligan Madness Golfers Trivia Game, Strata 5 strategy game, and Speedy Graffiti and Probe word games.

The saddest board game in the world.

The saddest board game in the world.

Danielle Steel on sale, "10-4, Good Buddy CB radio board game," and  "Real Basketball in Miniature."

Danielle Steel on sale, “10-4, Good Buddy CB radio board game,” and “Real Basketball in Miniature.”

In the "Amish" section of the book room, Beverly Lewis's The Shunning: "She only knew the Amish ways, but with one visit to the attic, her world began to crumble."

In the “Amish” section of the book room, Beverly Lewis’s The Shunning: “She only knew the Amish ways, but with one visit to the attic, her world began to crumble.”

Bibles by the tub, 25 cents each.

Bibles by the tub, 25 cents each.

The Life After Death section. While in the book room, I heard one volunteer-employee say to another, "For all those fans of J.D. Robb, got a whole bunch in."

The Life After Death section. While in the book room, I heard one volunteer-employee say to another, “For all those fans of J.D. Robb, [we] got a whole bunch in.”

Sheet music selections, from Pat Boone to Richard Hageman to Michael W. Smith.

Sheet music selections, from Pat Boone to Richard Hageman to Michael W. Smith.

Dixon High graduation gown.

“Dixon High School Reagan Dixon outfits.”

This assortment.

This assortment.

More knicks with the knack.

More knicks with the knack.

Muppets glassware.

Muppets glassware.

One-handed St. Francis.

One-handed St. Francis.

That bear in the back row -- that can't be good.

That bear in the middle of the back row, its expression — that can’t be good.

 

Note:  I didn’t really take pictures of the people of the Leydig Center, which would’ve been (and could be) a whole other project. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of local color there. At the checkout, I heard this: “We couldn’t win for losin’ there for a while,” said one middle-aged guy who was talking about taking jobs at places that had closed down soon after he was hired.

 

‘Time Closes One I': Erasures and rewrites of Rod McKuen’s ‘Lonesome Cities’

Rod_for blog (1)

So, last January, about the time Rod McKuen passed away, I picked up his poetry book Lonesome Cities, which I’d obtained long after it’s publication in the 1960s but which I’d never read. I didn’t really like the poems: their language felt too chatty and their subjects too familiar and too precious.

But alongside each poem was plenty of blank space in which I could rewrite the poems to my own taste, to make the poems sharper and stranger, more surprising. Some of the poems are simple erasures (see also resources here), while others have some words replaced by sound-alike words, and all poems have certain amounts of re-arrangement, editing, and rewriting (however those definitions may overlap).

I debated whether to put my new poems alongside McKuen’s originals. I have chosen not to, partly out of concern not to step on his copyrights (and this writing process felt like authentic creation, but it also prompted questions of what, exactly, copying means). But I also don’t think comparing the new to the old is necessary, as the poems below range far beyond the topics of McKuen’s poems to represent their own questions of consciousness and philosophical inquiry.

Here are my poems, with reference to the titles of the originals the new poems came from:

“An Out,” an erasure of McKuen’s poem “An Outstretched Hand”

Each of us was God.

Some of us grew.

The wind bent.

Darkness-up life.

Love is, is.

Each eye turned sound,

shoulders their feet.

It takes a hand.

Ω

“Sting,” an erasure of “Rusting in the Rain”

The old world coming stops as it goes.

Did anybody ever grow older?

Come see where we have been.

Ω

“I’ve,” a rewrite of “I’ve Saved the Summer”

I’ve.

I give you to winter when new.

I’ve need. Darkness can feed. I’ve kept your smile.

You were 19. You’re older, you’ll know.

I know no answers. Your way lies somewhere.

But I’ll give you the road.

Ω

“Like the Window,” a rewrite of the last 2 stanzas of “It’s Raining”

It’s like the window if we wait.

There’s here now. Don’t be anymore.

It’s the crickets.

Do you think? You love.

Raining.

Ω

“Summer’s It,” an erasure/rewrite of the last 2 stanzas of “Sommerset”

wind

the memories–

times: summer’s set?

Life,

day: Sunday

month May,

years–

summer’s it,

Time?

Ω

“To Glean Sin from the Crows,” a rewrite of the first two stanzas of “Sommerset” made by replacing each word in poem with a sound-alike word:

Several ways were sunny.

Canned eels’ mouths were made.

Sand heavy birds down a long cane;

that seems to compensate

for muddy ears. Comb fuzzy bats.

Tin filters amore.

Hens heal ivy. Where summer went,

him no team ignores.

Cats rhyme some more. They gored some pigs.

Endure, he knew, but how?

Repair in size our wooden trunks.

Two seen beneath a stall.

Cows mainly hear enough of static

to glean sin from the crows.

Whine was learned, yet summer kept

land-cropping all sender’s snows.

Ω

“I Live That, Always,” an erasure of “The Single Man”

I live that, always.

For just a night,

the talk wasn’t a better day.

At home, or in his private cloud, I am

a time I can’t remember.

The house might have been help.

Ω

“Cans,” an erasure/creative edit of “Cannes”

Cans waking in the morning

sweep down the street.

The empty bottles go back.

As crossword puzzles on the sidewalk,

a new foundation crawls

back under buildings

to avoid the Jets.

Still adjusting our heads,

we shoe up in the hallway

and lose bed.

Thank God for the coasts.

Ω

“Form,” an erasure of “For Bimby”

Some things you can put down.

Sheep grazing on the airport stale February days.

Smile balloons look to me.

Surprises held in the day.

A blaze with tourists and cats ruins time.

Her smile is elaboration lost

Ω

“The cross Atlantic,” erasure/edit of “Atlantic Crossing”

I gave up a while.

I had written songs to my family’s safe for years.

Had some women liked my animals in luxury?

I’d miss me, but they’d be it.

The way did much paint.

I’ll admit there were eyes I’d keep.

All in all, I was ready, so I pray more.

God had frightened years.

He first did run down.

We’d play together if we weren’t one another.

Ω

“Beaching Manhattan,” an edit-rewrite of “Manhattan Beach” as a prose poem

I’m working in a house at Manhattan Beach. Eddie came by last weekend with two women and some books. The books and the women were stacked. (Ha!)

I sleep and breathe the waves. I think of my breathing. I mist my attention on the traffic. Familiar rooms sink past my songs. A half-packed suitcase buys me oughts.

My dog does stuff up on the beach–she doesn’t seem to care that this is the very end of the land. My friends may as well be weathered sticks or bottles sans notes. My dog smells of the smells she smells; they settle on her fur.

Boats fill harbors in a dance stretching back 10 years in a morning. I live mostly in afternoons.

I nearly died. Fever made doubt or walks along. I stayed alive. Letters came, and “I” was the island I would go for. The asshole rides me to see the dog embark a seal.

Ω

“Four for Hands,” an erasure-rewrite of “Concerto for four hands”

Shadows time me.

Mischief

winter

empties forms.

A mattress

grows tired

of some

backs.

Ω

“Now You’re Even,” an erasure-edit of “New Year’s Eve”

The snow

branches

like cherries.

Wind falls

like windows

dying.

The old die.

A hundred

time-products

choose me.

I am the green ground.

I have faces.

I need,–I know.

The town slopes

the curtains.

The next room waits.

Villages rain like celebrations.

Ω

“Urban Herb,” an erasure-edit of “Suburb”

The mountain winds around petals. A desert country like smoke. Those electric-nows pine for perfume towns. The smile is smiles. Centurions anticipate chopping. Down the trees and down the hills, ants make flat.

Ω

“Bag Age,” an erasure-edit of “Baggage”

Only one day shoulders disappearing.

Room crowds your face.

Help me suppose it gone.

Leave me so I stand.

Ω

“Boa Rid,” erasure-rewrite of “Boat Ride”

You yawn.

The boredom drove.

God was full.

You were Texas.

Your tongue, again, knows.

Your arms water time, privately.

Ω

“In Dian’s Summer,” an erasure-rewrite of “Indians”

In Dian’s summer,

riot-bank frogs

empty man.

Every thicket beds flowers.

Sunshine does the painting.

The hills buy the buffalo tower

and fence. Off the factories,

we’ll build shadows.

Men die but gray.

Ω

“Engineer of Pallidity,” an erasure and inversion of “Venice” (pages 34 through 31)

a whole long moment meets time.

I am handsome; a mirror could have a hope.

Find a way to own my reflection.

I excite you with motor cuisine. You, I’ll never smile.

The glance—once—keeps you. I buy. You coin the world, and back a secret.

The sun targets me. The sun beaches you.

My hair lies. I’m your engineer of pallidity.

Tomorrow, sun ends home, shade.

Waiting, the birds.

Feeding. Ignoring me, you, chattering, the pigeons.

Coming. Moving. Eating. Chewing.

Ω

“These,” a selection-rewrite of “Three”

I face country tablecloths.

I index fingers.

I till now.

I paint 20 minutes.

Your eyes say grapefruit.

I ruin mornings.

I draw evenings.

I even drawings.

Ω

“Tuesday,” an erasure/sound-replacing rewrite of “Two”

Back to look—I, you. No!

Understand: I speak same as I bathe,

with a winnowing and a leafing through.

The heat throws. Off, we wormed each other

into tarps in different booths.

Turning me, months mediate a simile.

In the laboratory at the lakefront,

there were some seaweeds in a hair curler—

my mind looked at them—

I had drained my face from the stairs.

Ω

“When,” an erasure/rewrite of “One”

When you corner change

and wrinkle it into day,

you and lovers lose

water to leaded crystal.

Ω

“Disbelief,” a re-make of “Morning, Three”

At any “and,”

disbelief smiles “yet, “or.”

Ω