The elements of the poem that resemble—or are—assembly instructions are meant to construct...what, exactly? 

They could construct wigs, or anything. I describe a mundane task that requires ludicrous steps.

Was there an actual Albert singing an actual jingle to actual wigmakers that you can tell us about, or are these characters fictitious?

They’re fictitious, or they’re arbitrary, maybe like a painting composed of lines in different colors. I admire geometric paintings that break geometry. I am hoping the contrast between regularity and absurdity in this poem creates a similar effect.


This poem originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2011

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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