Monthly Archives: April 2022

‘I Would Be a Really Good Artist If I Just Stopped Painting’

“The Ordinary Song,” 2017. Credit…via Chiem & Read. Artist Donald Baechler (1956-2022) is remembered in the New York Times by Roberta Smith. Among [Baechler’s] holdings of New York artists was a neon-light wall piece by Joseph Kosuth, a leading Conceptual … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 1 of 3

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent,” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022) roped in incremental ghost tens / future tens clairvoyant tens home tens // blue slips beneath the exposed wing / tilt then seam then an angle spent all inside / the … Continue reading

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‘Smidgins’: Afterthought

A “smidgin” is an imprecise, tiny amount of something, a modest dollop. As a poem title, the jocular word is self-effacing but also coyly assertive, like a humble-brag. I got dirt under my nails the other day with Rae Armantrout’s … Continue reading

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‘Fella in Hat Cups His Dominos’

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I tried to get my dad to teach me dominos once during the last months of his life. He was in hospital and listless. I thought it might raise his spirits. When I dumped the shiny pieces out on the … Continue reading

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How Poetry Feels About Itself

Rae Armantrout’s poem “Smidgins” fulfills an imperative of lyric, which is “Don’t be gassy.” Also another imperative, which is “Talk in riddles.” My crumpled, wrinkled / blurt / of flesh. // “Let’s face it,” / it says. * … Ravaged … Continue reading

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On ‘Love Letter to a Dead Body’

I’m intrigued by the tension in Jake Skeet’s [sic] poem: Its title juxtaposes love with death, and its rhythms press against the nettle-like images. The first stanza’s images are scarred and rough with “burr and sage,” “bottles” and the “cirrhosis … Continue reading

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