i think i may have been an engineer or architect in a past life. i don’t know where else this fascination (nay obsession) with form comes from. yes, a poem has a form, but so does a line, a word, even individual letters have a form—a particular shape in which they exist. letters are the visual (i.e. written) manifestation of sounds. we write down words and sentences to archive our memories and histories, our desires and needs and fears. and when written we give shape to all of these things that have lived shapelessly inside of our heads or that have come shapelessly out of our mouths.
a friend sent me this poem yesterday: cortés burning the aviaries by monica rico. something about the pantoum with end-stopped lines all the way down got me thinking about the flexibility within the form. each sentence/line both rich and tight so as we move from one to the next, the meaning is created between the lines/sentences. what happens when we use a poetic form (pantoum) to give shape to thought (content)? what happens when we take that shape and push it further? when we disrupt the logic of the initial poetic form to allow for more possibility in the content?
i’m not sure if any of this makes sense (or if you care but i guess you subscribed to this so you must at least have some interest or maybe that’s my annoying/unwavering optimism thinking…) anyways here’s my go at a pantoum that is also maybe a contrapuntal that is also maybe three poems that is also maybe just one poem that doesn’t want to be anything.