About the Poems
by Boyer Rickel
Since 2003 I’ve worked on sequences, each a reaction to the formal constraints of the last. I wrote twelve Box poems following fifteen dense, abstract traditional sonnets. In place of that compression, housed in meter and end-rhyme, I wanted a poem shape—the rectangle—to determine poem length, space between phrases and fragments, and internal rhyme. In #s 11 and 12 (at Eleven Eleven online) I got interested in repetition through obsessive recombination of words and phrases, which led to “Black Paintings”: six fifteen-line poems in which full sentences are recombined with slight syntactical variations.