I’ll be participating in my second “Why There Are Words” reading series this weekend–this one in Pittsburgh, PA. White Whale Books, 7pm. A homecoming for me!
Here’s an old Pittsburgh poem I wrote in oh maybe 2005:
A shadowy arrowed so-many-foot canyon.
Why I always write canyon. Whether there
is a subject. Which is thirteen feet, six inches.
What to think about next. A pair of electric devices
clipped to the page. Measure this line.
Begins at a photo. Red arrow (large), yellow sound
below the hind ends of numbers of minutes.
These are aspects. Musical. I can’t see the front
of the subject. It says PITTSBURGH GOES GREEN
and it spreads. Along brick-colored brick.
A subject ten hours away, dressed in yellow and red.
Framed by wire and the dogged ditch of grass.
I thought grass was like air but with many
tiny canyons. All along this was wrong. Many wheels turn
at this moment: I can never see all of them
at once, and then a pole leans. And it is very eye-catching
when the split canyons two reliably large
white items reflectively, with shadows.
Never without a knife. And locked. Rivets
in these lines. An arrangement
of stone and being boarded-up. Compositionally this
is diagonal so that ivy never tears at the cornice
in the lifespan of the sign, NORTH ROBINSON.
A few things are missing. I suppose I had chosen this.
What breaks into song, what breaks into flowerbox.
A tradition of naming poems “Looking at photos
of ———-.” A tradition of naming anonymous painters
after their only known painting: The Master of ———-.
Lines of precedent falling onto pavement,
dressed, selected, pinned-down or painted.
Bricks painted blue. In some ways, the street.