I’ve been thinking a lot about line breaks ever since I posted about “The White Fires of Venus” by Denis Johnson. As I write my own work, the breaks in that and in this poem, “The One Song” by Mark Strand (excerpted below), have become very important to me. There is something indescribably beautiful that happens between “the wind turns” and “gray in my arms.” The wind changes direction, but it also is transformed in the moment and is a catalyst for a transformation of the self. When Strand writes “gray in my arms,” he is giving the wind a location, but also a kind of magisterial capacity for change, a change that is evoked by the line break that makes such change happen! It’s a really incredible moment.
Also, if you haven’t read the latest edition of JERRY, you should. In fact, you should get on the JERRY bandwagon. You should also tell everyone you know to send work their way. The latest issue includes work by Lynn Melnick and John Wilkinson.
Oh, and one more thing. On October 28, two rad poets, Sommer Browning and Elisa Gabbert will lead a live-tweet viewing of The Shining. As a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick, I’ll be tweeting, too, chucking all the snark I can into the ether. Just follow the hastag #redrum.