Please Let Me Look the Other Way

A collage poem from May, 2017, published in the collection Generous With the Details.

Please Let Me Look the Other Way

a strong feeling of relief
inside, closing of the eye of the imagination.
to know that it was there. But when no one was
where they belonged.
during which you turned yourself
anxious. What
one thing I can’t understand
exactly when the
things began to happen, a good percent
see that the full moon, and
began to run. There were the
had thought it best, to go, and I would not
to celebrate. In view of what at least could
enough of it understand the rest of the world
is a self-portrait an explanation
not to think of rejoicing



14 thoughts on “Please Let Me Look the Other Way

  1. There’s a sort of discordance that starts about half way through this poem, caused by the irregular syntax and grammar. I like that the fulcrum is around the word “anxious”. It suggests the thought patterns breaking down a bit because of that emotional turmoil.

  2. Yes, I find these collage poems, when they are longer than snippets, sort of allow me to arrange the words visually and so their appearance can reflect a meaning as well as what the words say. I can’t do this with just writing out of my head. Funny how this works, I really love this process for this reason.

  3. Thank you. With collage poetry there is a letting go of how the words flow, somewhat; I don’t control them the same way I do when I write out sentences from inside my head. Although of course in collage poetry you can predetermine the word you want and look for it in the print, but, then, why do this process, just get out a pen…I find myself letting go of how things proceed in these poems and it seems to open up new levels of meaning or thought to me. Plus the appearance on the card, of the words and so on, makes a difference in how they are placed. I know this sounds kind of airy, but there is really something about doing writing this way that reaches into a different part of my head.

  4. I completely understand. It’s an interplay between the words choosing themselves and you making selections. I think that’s the genius of it. It just seemed to me that there was a shape to this poem because the phrases seemed more ordered at first and then became a bit more chaotic – and don’t we all have that happen to us, where our thoughts run too quickly for our words?

  5. I agree about the anxiety in these lines, broken, unfinished thoughts, ending on that enigmatic phrase—is it an order, or just a qualification of the preceding phrase?

  6. This form of writing encourages me not to tie things up in a neat package, this poem an example. I am thrilled with what everyone is saying, it makes me feel great that the poem is encouraging thought and examination. The same way as what happened for me as I was doing it, people are feeling it as they read it.

  7. The fact that you wonder, to my mind anyway, means that there’s poetry there. Bad poets never ask themselves about whether it’s a poem or not, never mind, is it a good poem.

  8. This is an interesting thought. I do agree with you. And I am wondering why this seems true to me. I tried to translate it to art, say. I think there is a lot of difficulty is self-assessment, that is definitely true. Oh yes.

  9. Like everything, art, the mechanics and the appreciation, needs to be learned. If writing or painting hasn’t been taught, there is no yardstick to measure your efforts with. I also think we are too quick to listen to the praise of people who are close to us, or just want the favour returned.

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