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Poetry attentionbeam.

May 18, 2010 \pm\31 3:50 pm

Last night, while reading poetry in bed to my husband (cause that’s how we roll), the following poem creeped him out. He said, “I don’t like those ants.” I replied, “This is a good example of a list poem that works.”

The poem comes from Sawako Nakayasu’s Texture Notes, new from Letter Machine Editions. Most of the poems are not about ants. There are at least two that use the phrase ‘diarrhea like a motherfucker’–but now I’m really starting to misrepresent book. These are some lovely, wacky poems.


Ant-sized objects, in the order received:

Ant, microchip, staple, pine needle, dimple, pebble, the ant’s twin, a one-to-one scale model of the ant, another ant of the same size, dust, crumb, fingernail, crumb, staple, mustard seed, the letter “i” typed in 12-pt. font, the pinky nail of a 5-month-old baby (I’m looking at it right now), the hour hand of my watch, computer chip, an ant, a filling that’s fallen out of your tooth, an ant, a word printed on linen paper that happens to be the size of an ant, a photo reduction of the cast portrait of an awful production of Our Town in Wisconsin, the back to an earring, the buttons on my cell phone, the bubbles in fizzy mineral water, staple, earring, tooth, the letter ‘a,’ the letter ‘n,’ torn-off cuticle, tiny glass splinter, eye-glass screw, cut-off hangnail, clipping from fingernail, stray pubic hair, un protozoaire, l’oeil d’un moustique.

I put them all in a glass jar.

I put my hand in and the ants go wild.

  1. May 18, 2010 \pm\31 3:59 pm 3:59 pm

    Great book. Great press. Awesome reviewer.

  2. Robin Elizabeth Sampson permalink
    May 18, 2010 \pm\31 4:00 pm 4:00 pm

    Love it! Though I had to look up that last French phrase. The poet must have bigger ones than we have here.

    Ha! Look it up!


  3. May 18, 2010 \pm\31 4:26 pm 4:26 pm

    This poem definitely has a certain magic extra something that races me to the finish.

  4. May 18, 2010 \pm\31 11:11 pm 11:11 pm

    I also recommend Sawako’s translation of Takashi Hiraide’s For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut.


  5. ryan call permalink
    May 20, 2010 \pm\31 3:35 pm 3:35 pm

    i used to read short stories to my wife. but then we got a puppy and we are much happier now. i like these attentionbeam things.

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