Tonight has been a night of dilemma. There is an assignment due in less than 24 hours and tomorrow is a work day. Granted, I shall not get a grade for this, however, it’s never about the grade when writing, it is the challenge of meeting said intention.

My original intent was to address one of Bernadette Mayer’s writing experiments. This has gone a bit astray since certain concepts have not quite been grasped. Though still uncertain on how to write a reflection of another poem, as in a mirror, I have toyed with the concept. The end product is perhaps more parody, a sarcastic response, than a mirror.

The other poem I shall post is a take from Mayer’s idea of making an index. This index turned poem is actually all the titles of poems that we have covered thus far in ModPo. What I have yet to address, beyond writing them out in stanza based on chapters on a notebook, is how they shall configure on the page. We shall see as I transcribe them here for the first time.

(Copyright has me a bit worried…can I used all these title without noting authorship in the text? OI shall not use quotes to denote each new title; I will capitalize the first letter of each new poem title . I do not plan on adding any additional words beyond the titles.)

This Is my Say: a response to William Carlos Williams “This Is Just to Say”**

I have hidden
the poems
that were in
the desktop

and which
you were secretly
to bind text

Thank me
they were obnoxious
too neat
and too dull

**The original poem was WCW poetic note to his wife after eating her plums. This is the wife’s rebuttal.


An index of poems as a poem…perhaps this is a poetic reflection of these poems?

I dwell in possibility, Tell all the truth but tell it slant
The brain within its groove Song of myself
Smell! Danse Russe A supermarket in California
Grandfather advised me, You are my friend If it isnt for want
The way Grayroom Sea roses Sea poppies
In a station metro The encounter Lines between walls
This is just to say The red wheelbarrow
The rose is obsolete Portrait of a lady, Nude
descending a staircase A long dress
A carafe, that is a blind glass
Water raining Malachite
Let us describe If I told him A dozen cocktails –
please A recollection Yet do I marvel Lines
for the abortionist’s office
Interior Incident If we must die
truth Mending walls The death of a toad
Cottage street, 1953 Nude descending a staircase
October in the railroad earth I know a man
Rogue state Incident The day lady died
The instruction manual A step away from them
20 Some trees Hard times, 3 pages
Invasions of the body snatchers
Albany, My life
Chronic meanings In a restless world like this is
My life has stood – a loaded gun BART
Writing through Howl Vocabulary for Peter Innisfree Moore
A feather likeness of the justice chair Dropping leaflets
Not a Cage

The ‘index’ poem has been configured with very little intentional manipulation beyond following the line breaks dictated by the width of my notebook. I did decide to cut to the next line for a better flow at midpoint.

We must close read the poems we present. I’d say the WCW close read would be rather cut and dried if we can bypass what I’m actually doing in regards to experiment. The second one was literally just done, so I’ve not even been able to see if there are any meta qualities to it.

If you read this and care for neither, do tell, I’ve two other ideas zipping across the worn gray matter. One involved Twitter….


2 thoughts on “20 some trees –

  1. Post the Index as your writing experiment for Assignment #4; it’s far better than most things submitted, and it’s evocative for those who’ve just read all the works indexed. Just write ten or twelve sentences of prose at the end, explaining your engagement in the exercise from a Poetics point of view. Don’t overdo it, and get a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Please see some of my send-ups of Modernist Poems:


    But see them … AFTER YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK !!!

    • Many thanks for helping me decide, Mike! I shall visit the thread tomorrow night.
      Looks like I need to visit your WP site too. ~ a

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