Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I feel less bad about the blog than about my left-behind poetry swappers, who had their first post-Tim swap over the weekend but were nice enough to ask me for a poem and discussed it and then emailed me comments about it. I sent them pretty much the only thing I've written in the past month, which I've been thinking about renaming "Nebraska Vortex Sutra." Unless that's already taken.

Jennifer and Del commiserated--it was like being there, they said, without actually having to go there. Poor Nebraska.

But Stephanie really caught me out. "TIM," she said. "Give up the goods."

Oops. Right. There are no goods to give up. I didn't really eat in Misty's Restaurant or give a big ol' "wahoo" at the football stadium. The poem was really about not having experienced Nebraska--we were moving through as fast as we could and stopping for nothing. So while technically I was there, there was no there there. No, that's not right--I was there but only in a nowhere that passed through the middle of there, which is pretty much the experience of driving down any interstate. The poem's own private/public Nebraska bears little resemblance to the "real thing," being stitched together from highway signs and commercial language.

If I were being generous to myself I'd say that was the point--it's a poem about the failure or lack of experience, seeing what you can piece together out of those empty signifiers. If I'm not being generous I'd say I was just lazy.

Susanna (hi Susanna): "Suits" was a typo for "suites." Let it stand.

But everybody liked "wahoo" and was spooked by the seventh seal. And somebody, I won't name names, learned Nebraska was a state.

No comments: