HALO
(for JML)
 
Spencer Selby


Ridiculous stain rooted thick pillar and
little courage unrecorded.
 
Perhaps decline runs again, eating anywhere
once despair reached reward rain sighting.
 
Old attitude surrounded in life specific,
incessant body jealous assembly dancing
into play behind cowardice.
 
Run fill society ribs, precise shoulders,
fading friends with ordinary horizon anxious.
 
Together which table which door nailed to
perception waves salute.
 
Breath cracked darkness, dawn throats
swallow, seek wrinkle where knowing alone
used the range the shore stamped endless.
 
There rides blood from whirling love,
makes false spread wings of living flow.
 
Storms night overblown last habit extreme.
Storms red once fronted before other need.
 
 
 
 
Process Note: I was inspired by Mac Low's use of found or received material. In 1994 I wrote a piece dedicated to Jackson which illustrates my odd connection to his work. One of my favorite books of his at that time was The Virginia Woolf Poems (Burning Deck, 1985).The book contains a series of poems that use words and phrases taken from Woolf novels, primarily, as I recall, The Waves. I found out later that these poems were the first in which Mac Low used literary work as root material. That in itself was interesting since my piece was the first I had composed using words of another poet. Actually, the idea was that I was using both Virginia Woolf's and Mac Low's words. The way I saw it, Jackson had distilled and transformed Virginia's book, then I further distilled and transformed his. My method was less unique and simpler than his: I would erase most of a given text and words that remained were the new text. The unerased words were kept in their original sequence, but reformatted with new lines and punctuation. The title of my piece was "Halo"--an erasure of Jackson's title. This poem was published in special Mac Low issue of Crayon. Then it appeared in my book NO ISLAND (Drogue Press, 1995).