separate menagerie valences gather reply velocity
the commingling effect of reciprocity beckons
al fresco nerve gas is refugee event
coded for unwitnessing
bedleapt the pup emerges
slumberlord’s wergild ransomed
further notion ramparts held aloft and priceless
apologies sooner becoming facetious
centenary yellowing delves deeply to overcome miracle sustenance
verbose canine joy in every ear
variegated apocalypse flowerings
the wag of entirety’s tail
The poems are part of a sequence I've been working on since June of 2020. I realized that the parts of our minds that are active when we're asleep and dreaming are different than the parts active when we're fully awake and conscious. I was interested in seeing what would happen if I invited the dreaming mind to express itself by giving it access to a pen and paper, so I started, whenever possible, writing before I'm fully awake in the morning, during the transition state as the dreaming mind is receding but the waking consciousness is still "booting up". Around this time, I had also read the following (attributed to Robert Duncan): "I work with the word that comes up for me—not what you think you have to say, not what you thought you felt—you go with the word that comes first—if it comes to you, it's your business to deal with it" and took that as permission to allow myself to improvise freely. So I think of this work as a sort of diary of that hypnopompic transitional mind as it's navigated life during the pandemic.
Steve Carll is currently on the move with his family. Published books include Tracheal Centrifuge (Factory School, 2006), Tao Drops, I Change (with Bill Marsh, Subpress, 2004), Trace a Moment's Closure For Clues (Logodaedalus, 1996), and Sincerity Loops (Bathysphere, 1995), and his work has appeared in many literary journals, most recently in SurVision. From 1988-1998, he edited the literary journal Antenym.