Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Experimental Poem

My sense is that if you write an experimental poem, you probably shouldn't title it, "Experimental Poem," unless of course, in spite of being figurative, you occasionally suffer bouts of literalism. Not that you asked, but I think every poem is an experiment in writing poetry; that doesn't mean every poem is experimental, however. Which is technically a contradiction, I think, except that in the previous sentence, "experiment" refers to a process of discovery and "experimental" refers to a mode, type, or sub-genre. There should probably be a question mark after the title.

Experimental Poem

By definition, an experiment
is a former periment. A periment
is whatever you want it to be. It
sounds to me to be a part of a building,
a small amphibian, or an herb. ("Let
me draw your attention to the
periment now, if I may.") By

infinition, you who may be whoever,
especially online, may/can try whatever
you like or don't like for whatever why.
["Hello? To whom am I speaking?"]

Sure, there are courses of deep grammar,
 ingrown conventions, and local customs
that will pull your perimentation toward
silted centers of common practice. Fact is,

["it just isn't done," an editor wrote to me
once, except I'd already done it] don't
let that pulley interrupt the fermentation (which,
yes, I know is rot), the chemical re-agenting

[this is too "out there," even for me, an agent
once wrote to me] underway as you pluck
drugged strings of a rubber violin on a baking
street, your sober alter-ego/oge-retla less

than [not equal to] enthused about your rumored
genius. ("I perceive you have been in Afghanistan.")
If there is a game afoot, look in the underbrush or
between mirrored pages of a glass anthology
["in the end, I did not fall in love with it"]
sitting on a table in your mind. There should
probably be a question mark after the title and
after every statement you make when you
pass the age of, say, 40.

Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom

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