Artness: A Sonnet
an erasure of Dean Young
Let us suppose the impossible. Let us
forget ourselves. The nagging intention
always intends otherwise. Pay attention
and reconceive the fuel. We should fess up,
forgive ourselves, whisper the names of the dead
like clouds under waves. Desire always becomes
authority, music and incantation: One
fish, two fish: the words are ahead
of the self’s multiplication, the life-
affirming perversity. We begin
to speak as verbs, a constant flickering.
Evolution doesn’t solve problems; it finds,
fits, makes do. Toto pulls back the curtain:
It is impossible not to make something.
Source Text: Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2010)
Syllabus for a Class on Modernism: An Erasure
When does the modern begin? The poets’
range defined in relation, the same frame
but not until an audience. Tanks and planes
and poison gas: into the unfiltered,
the insurgent throb. Rites and myths come in-
to god: cinema, radio, new drugs;
Planck, Einstein, cityscape, polyglot:
influence is unknowable, golden,
and wholly other. Should art take its place?
The thing: a chiseled classicism?
The drama, a mental dreamscape? Expect him
to indicate the untranslatable:
no finish; dashes rather than prose.
Very well, the rapture selects her focus.
Source Text: Syllabus, ENG 361, Glenn Freeman, Cornell College
Glenn Freeman lives in small town Iowa with his wife and two cats. He teaches writing and American literature at Cornell College. He has published two collections of poems: Keeping the Tigers Behind Us and Traveling Light.