About the Poems
by Boyer Rickel
In 2004-05 I wrote a book-length series of untitled fifteen-line poems, forty-five figures, in which I attempted to see what range within the form I could accomplish over many poems. I wanted them to travel internally a long way, but to be seamless—single thoughts containing multitudes. Their continuity depended a lot on syntax and line break. The poems here are from a series I’ve been working on in reaction to those fifteen-line poems. I felt the need for the opposite: directive titles, followed by discontinuity, gaps, imbalance, and the collection of ideas and feelings that might occur between poem elements—single sentences or sentence fragments—toward some overarching impression or thought. I decided on a series of five-sentence (or sentence-fragment) prose poems. The manuscript, titled remanence, concludes by recollecting all the sentences in the thirty-nine short poems into nine longer prose poems of various shapes and lengths.