Chelsey Minnis - Poemland
Poemland (Wave Books 2009) comes without a table of contents or index of first lines, but with plenty of barcodes. No individual poems have titles (if there are individual poems) but every so often there will be a fully inked page (and barcode) that creates a sort of divider. By looking around online, it seems that each page contains a discrete poem (usually four or five lines long), though ideas continue across several pages. I’m fascinated by the whole thing, and the seeming randomness of application and tone. Here are a few poems (I think), as example. They all come from the same section (if it’s a section!), early in the book.
I like to live a hard life but I know I shouldn’t do it . . .
I should live an easy life or I am a fool!
The sea-crabs try to cling onto anything.
The crab fishermen don’t even want all the crab . . . they want money . . .
Even though their mustaches are covered with ice . . .
+ + +
If you are a person you can also be someone’s goat . . .
I can tell you about it for free . . .
I can long remember a nastie thing . . .
If it is well done . .
+ + +
I look to the left and right with my eyes and then I swing the sharp thing . . .
As you rise out of a cloud on a mechanized contraption . . .
If you open your mouth to start to complain I will fill it with whipped cream . . .
There is a floating sadness nearby . . .
+ + +
Don’t try to walk away from a little girl like me!
This is a recollection of flopped happiness . . .
And it is a fistfight in the rain under a held umbrella . . .
There is a way to smoke your cigarette and look out the window but you’ll never get enough of it.