About the Poems
by Peter Jay Shippy
“The Hieroglyphs of Nantucket”: This is my pitch to HBO. Hey, if A.M. Homes can write a series—why not me? Plus, drug dealers… on Nantucket… with hieroglyphs? Hello, Mr. Cage. A.M. PS: When I was in graduate school my dear friend, the estimable Peter Virgilio, ended our roommateship because (cue tears) he said I drove him insane. Where did he go? To an apartment below A.M. Homes. Or so he says. I’ll get to the bottom of it when I’m invited to HBO for a shindig.
“Notes That Must Resolve”: No more dissections in high school biology! Transparent Japanese frogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ4JmG-D9DM.
“A Perverbial Critter”: from UBUWEB: “Harry Mathews’ Selected Declarations of Dependence (1977), a book elaborated from 46 proverbs that Mathews subjects to all manner of mutation. Splitting in half proverbs such as ‘It’s an ill wind that bodes no good’ and ‘All roads lead to Rome,’ Mathews reassembles the parts to create what he calls ‘perverbs’ (e.g. ‘It's an ill wind that leads to Rome’). This recombinative procedure becomes the basis for a story made from rearranged proverbs, dozens of paraphrases of various perverbs, and many poems (some perverbial translations from Dante, Shakespeare and Mallarmé).
If you didn’t read Mathews’ interview in The Paris Review (Spring, ’07), please do. He’s strange and beautiful. And I learned stuff, too!
Does Paul Muldoon consider his “Symposium” (http://www.poetrycenter.org/paulmuldoonsymposium4799.mp3) a preverb?
“Slow Emulsions”: For Christmas I got my wife a Diana camera (originally made in the 60’s by The Great Wall Plastic Factory in Kowloon). Do you know the model? It’s a cheap plastic camera (like its cousin the Holga) famous for its light leaks that cause odd colors, chromatic aberration, and blurred images—which is why artist/photographers loved them. Now she can take furry photos of our brand new and utterly adorable twins: Stellatrix.
“The Wax of the Paper Lantern Industry in Upper New England”: This is one of those titles I’ve saved for years, waiting for the right poem. I’m still not sure. Too B.H. Fairchildish? The title, certainly not the poem. I may have to use the title again.