About the Poems
by Andrew Mister
I used to think that adolescence was the strangest time in my life, and I'd look back with relief that it was over. Then my college years were even worse because I was really out of control and got into some dangerous situations that I couldn't handle. Lately I've started to think that I'm in the middle of the strangest, loneliest period of my life so far: in my mid-twenties, graduated college, moved to strange cities where I don't know anyone, and working a real job for the first time. Maybe I will just be constantly perplexed by the incongruity of my own life, even when it seems mind-numbingly banal. I guess that's what this poem is about.
In the summer of 2003, my girlfriend and I—we've since broken up—moved from Missoula, MT to Oakland, CA. After moving, I suffered from a serious bout of writer's block. This wasn't really a bad thing: I just didn't think about writing or reading poetry for about six months. It was kind of a relief. Then in December of 2003 I started to write "Trapdoor Fucking Exit." Before leaving Missoula, I'd read A.R. Ammons's book-length poem "Tape For the Turn of the Year" which
inspired me to write a poem like a journal, returning to it each day, picking up where I'd left off.
The title is taken from an album by the Dead C. I refer to Christian Marclay's collage LPs in it. I also quote from a Will Oldham song and a Garrit Lansing poem. There's probably some other stuff in there that I can't remember. My friend, the poet Adam Phillips, gave me some great cuts through the US postal service.