“Chalk Outline”: At a reading, one of the authors described herself as a Confessional Poet. When pressed about the type of writing I practiced, I said, Alibis.
“Unearth a Late Renaissance”: Questions whether productivity is inversely correlated to Netflix’s share price.
“Cinderblocks Live”: About the time my mother hired Jesus to build a retaining wall along our back fence. His job was complicated somewhat in that he couldn’t let others see him work, or come by after to collect a cheque.
“Subjectivity’s Dead”: The title was taken from vandalism on the above mentioned retaining wall. I spent an afternoon applying Goof Off to the tag, but a pale, pink ghost of the slogan remains to this day.
“The Forty-Six Page Haiku”: In retrospect, this isn’t a haiku.
“Checked the Veracity of These Statements Against their End Rhymes”: This poem doesn’t exist in this collection because a prominent American poet/novelist said that although he liked the title, the poem itself seemed, more conversational and slack & not up to the standards set by (my) best work.
“Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future”: Based on an 80s toy/television cross-promotion about self-aware machines fighting mankind—a good idea!
“A Lipogram Signals the Death of U”: The concept was the creation of poetry without consonants. Writing, in the absence of talent, proved the larger constraint.
“Reading Anxiety”: Whenever I feel nervous about speaking in public I picture my wife, who’s a doctor and Beanie Baby enthusiast. I see her bringing life into the world and guiding it out. I imagine her smile, grasping a rare Lucky Ladybug. It doesn’t make me less worried, but makes my fear plush, pathetic. I am not an emergency.
“You No Scissor-Cut, Yes?”: This line spoken by my Ukrainian hairdresser. I responded, “Yes.”