Directions to my House: Poems

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2008-05-02

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This is a self-portrait collection. But it begins in response to texts that I read. Before, I write automatically, nonsensically, intentionally unintentionally; and the engagement with literature directs my writing toward the 'determined' strain that defines this collection. Starting, for instance, with Pound's Chinese translations, used in the earliest poem here, I build my own 'translations.' And I follow the work of poets that interest me: Miroslav Holub, from whom I borrow lines; John Ashbery, Cesar Vallejo, Kenneth Koch, James Tate, Samuel Beckett, on all whose themes I vary; and more. Certainly, my fascination with nonsense and the absurd continues, but throughout the collection I respond more and more to what I read, twisting what I can into my own language--and I reflect more and more on my own personal and interpersonal conditions, less and less reveling in pure senselessness, although even nonsense is a self-reflection.

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