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Most Unusual Poems



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Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:54 am
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Liminality says...



What's the most unusual poem you've read? Why did you find it unusual? Tell us! :D All sorts of answers are welcome.
  





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Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:58 am
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Liminality says...



I'm going to kick this off with Dots and After Shocks by Carolyn Hashimoto.

This is a concrete poem based off of dots. It's very difficult to tell what exactly is happening in each part of the poem, as it is written somewhat non-linearly, in two differently-coloured columns that seem to go down forever. The broad subject matter is the experience of an earthquake in Japan, but there also seems to be links to a person's state of mind in general.

It's also unusual because the text mixes English with Japanese, and also seems to be made up of multiple texts, including a formal report and some text messages, with perhaps (?) multiple speakers.
  





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Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:28 pm
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alliyah says...



Oh thanks for sharing that poem set Lim! It's really interesting, creative, and inventive how the dots interact with the text and then the shifting language too. Seems like a community of poems instead of a single speaker. I've been meaning to post in this thread since you've posted!

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A poetry book that has really interested me is "Groundspeed" by Emilia Phillips (though some of the poems are too mature for my taste- but anyways the book all kind of sticks with me anyways) - I read it several years ago and the book has a lot of interesting bodily musings along with thoughts on the external interstate landscape or environment that the narrator is passing through, and then sometimes those two spaces mix. Some of the poems are rather gritty, so I don't necessarily recommend it for all! There is an "unusual poem" in the collection that I found online so I'd like to point out though!

One of the poems, "Lodge" by Emilia Phillips found here is actually posted under the non-fiction category as a "Lyric Essay" though when I read it in the context of her poetry collection I definitely understood it as a poem - which already gives a bit of genre bending to the piece! (just re-read the book version and it's slightly condensed too).

It combines prose-poetry paragraph moments, with the text from interstate billboards and hotel signs and church marquees, and I think you're meant to reflect on how the external language and memory may be interpreted as bodily metaphor. The author was diagnosed with cancer and that features prominently in her poetry, as well as her brother's death, and the way that everything connects while at the same time feeling organic and uncomfortably disconnected is an interesting reading experience. The formatting also seems unapologetic, which sounds a little cliché, but what I mean by that is it's not good prose - it's random, and ugly, and there's all these loose threads, and weird formatting aspects and back tracks, but it does certainly create a certain feeling to be so inconsistent and very stream of consciences that comes across as honest.

Anyone else like reading about poets talking about their poetry? I do! You can read an interview from Emilia Philips about her poetry at front porch journal .
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Fri Sep 03, 2021 4:13 am
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Liminality says...



Ah I forgot to reply to this for so long, please forgive me - but I did give that lyric essay a look!

The formatting also seems unapologetic, which sounds a little cliché, but what I mean by that is it's not good prose - it's random, and ugly, and there's all these loose threads, and weird formatting aspects and back tracks, but it does certainly create a certain feeling to be so inconsistent and very stream of consciences that comes across as honest.


I definitely agree that the choice of prose to put in, and all the wide and unusual choices, added a lot of richness and effect to the poem. Though I read it a while ago, I still remember the sense of 'place-less-ness' given by the images of the motel room and street names.
  








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