About the Poems
by Derek Henderson
“To the Grace of the Unmade Bed”
Exploring the notion of the husk in both its emptiness and its strange fullness, seizing upon the burden of its always shifting interior. Where we look for lines—the connection of point to point ad infinitum—there is always an otherness pushing against expectation.
“Laughter, Render, Remember”
One is recalled to Wyatt setting the English language into a new stability through his Petrarchan “translations.” Much can be said of transposition, of carrying across in this case. Much can also be said of the wonder–full project of such dislocation. In both instances, one must wonder at the violence involved: of bringing the poem into an as–of–yet–unfixed language on the one hand, and of lending one’s own voice to the majesties of the poem already composed on the other.
“Corner Piece and Cog–Wheel”
If we can agree that the poem is activity—or is possessed of an activity—then we can only ever find ourselves in the midst of the poem poeming. In this way, the poem becomes atmospheric or environmental in the broadest sense, thereby challenging the imposition of a subjective authority responsible for its manufacture. As Rimbaud wrote: “It’s wrong to say: I think. Better to say: I am thought.”
What is our desire when we stand alone in the night facing an empty wall with a stencil and a can of spray paint in our hands? Do we long to be caught, to be caught and forgiven, to be caught and condemned, or to escape, leaving nothing behind but that inscription that so possessed us even if only for those few moments before or during its making?
The inevitable tension that confronts us when movement presses against stasis, stability, inactivity, the former seeking to energize the latter and—doing what precisely? The revel located in this moment, this collision. The voice speaking, but before that, the voice gathering itself for speech. Our making, the speech of it.