014.1: Joshua Harmon:: from Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie
3 May 2010
I can’t recall a poet who uses line break more dramatically than Joshua Harmon. The eloquent, ranging descriptions collapse and expand with each break, toying with the reader’s ability to comprehend the landscape’s entirety and forcing a constant reevaluation of each noun. A barbwire fence becomes more than just the trope of urban ruin. Instead, the fence is intimately a part of the landscape it serves to divide: “blossom//of razorwire,/and the barbed hooks/of autumn-dried briers/it encloses”. In Le Spleen de Poughkeespie, a busy litany of men’s rooms, broken trees, and closed “meth/dispensaries” contrast with the occasional and profound moment of perceiving a phenomenon isolated from the rest of the world.
014.2: Michelle Taransky:: A Conversation
5 May 2010
"The thwarts, the stutters, the choice to not conclude—this isn’t the way I speak when I go to the bank. As Oppen writes, 'We change the speech because we are not explaining, agitating, convincing: we do not know what we already know before we wrote the poems.' And this is part of why I write: I want to know about things, to discover."