I have published six can poems. Three were published in Experimementos, which appears to have expired, but not before making me the featured poet of issue 2. Three more were published in issue 7 of shufPoetry. I wrote about them here. These were then favorably reviewed in New Pages. You can read about my excitement here. Finally, through an error I made in the submission process, two of the can poems published in Shuf were reprinted as part of a new, longer poem, “Erosion,” in the first issue of Malevolent Soap. You can read about that here.
For some time I thought I was done. Then I got to thinking how enthusiastic a number of people had been about the can poems and what a cohesive idea this would be for a collection, and I started looking at can text again, just in case something jumped out at me.
It’s not that easy to write poems based on cans because the text is so similar from one can to another. You always have a lot of advertising superlatives about how great the product is, and a lot of ingredients and regulatory language. But this can shown here did jump out at me. As you can see, it has some useful words–“Body,” “Care,” “Pressed”–that are unusual for cans. I didn’t use all of them, and, as always, I extracted words from larger words (“angel” from “Tourangelle,” e.g.) and put fragments of other words together to enrich the can vocabulary (“grasped” arose from this process). But I believe the final product works as a poem about what can happen to idealism in romance.
When it came time to submit the piece, I was happy to see that either people are more receptive to this very experimental poetry than they were when I first started to write it, or I just know how to search better. I found three likely places to submit to right off the bat, and I am happy to say that Poetry WTF?! has accepted it! Only forty-three more to go and I’ll have a collection. . . .
Photo from La Tourangelle website.