1:1 A poet finds his fillip in a poem’s flushed lips. She eats him, and he starts to work, carving psalms, like Jonah, in her taut, wet maw.
1:2 Poems’ lips are everywhere: in halls, on walls, at balls. A poet who hears the lips a lot or who sees the lips part is a sort of sot.
1:3 A poem: part lips, part ways.
1:4 A painter’s subject can distract him from his first idea, Bonnard warned. But poetry is distraction from the poet’s fillip, his first idea.
1:5 Poets in their ecstasy don’t channel poems. Instead, poems in their lassitude channel-surf poets.
1:6 Poets think of parted lips, splayed legs. But the urge to write, the fillip, is really for the propagation of poetry. Poems understand this.
1:7 A poem is domestic, farouche. There’s nothing wild about a poem, even one through Whitman or Thomas. Dickinson, a savage, understood this.
1:8 I recall dramatic poems at college, like Browning’s & Eliot’s, but most were psych majors. (Never English; one dorm poem sniggered at my poetics paper.)
2:1 Poems part their lips, but they aren’t hookers. Many live chaste. In fact, the best poems aren’t spoken or written, & so it will always be.
2:2 Some poems are silent from the womb, some their recalcitrant poets silence, while others have gone ineffable for the kingdom’s sake.
2:3 Even a poem, if she holds her peace, is counted wise.
3:1 A poem is apophatic, farouche. The paper’s the poem.
3:2 The poet sculpts paper until the paper’s poetry. A stodge of verse breaks down at his feet.
3:3 As a lawyer, I once deposed a guy at CIA headquarters. Afterwards, agents scissored the classified words from my notes. All I kept was the poetry.
3:4 The poem’s shadow is the poem. And what’s the poem.