About the Poems
by Ryan Flaherty
These excerpts are from a long poem, which grew out of a series of false starts. The initial idea came when I was trying to get in touch with a friend who lives near the Woodley Park Marriott in DC. While waiting in the phone booth, I started thinking about a poem that operated as a sort of expansion, or delay, of a moment into the various levels of simultaneous thought. Every time I tried to work on this poem it, naturally, became unwieldy and the material soon expanded beyond the bounds of the 2-3 page poem I had planned. I put the writing of it aside, while continuing to collect fragments and ideas. Several years later, I typed up 28 pages of my saved notes, along with discarded lines from other poems, cut them into slips of paper, and began cobbling them together on 3 x 6 feet sheets of paper tacked to an unused door propped up in my attic. As I worked over a month-long period, internal associations and narratives started to coalesce, dealing with the interaction of the inner and outer world, and imagined versus actual human relations.