About the Poems
by Amy Gerstler
"Untranslateable" was written partly with the aid of "A Dictionary of Contemporary and Colloquial Usage" and from having watched a slew of old gangster movies. "Birds of America" is the title of naturalist John James Audubon's famous portfolio of bird images. "Sonnet" is one in what I hope will be a series of poems written using a 1911 set of the Encyclopedia Britannica that I was given as a gift, a present I am still reeling from the generosity of. I'm trying to write one poem for every volume of the encyclopedia, using an encyclopedia entry from each volume (or multiple entries) as a jumping off point for the poem. In this case, I opened the "L-Lor" encyclopedia to the entry: "Lanterns of the Dead" and began there. "Introduction to a Now Lost Lecture on Disposition" is part of a longer text written for a dance piece by choreographer Tina Gerstler (my sister) entitled "Blessed Temper" with score by Francis Thumm.