Letter from Poetry Magazine

Jessica Greenbaum Responds

by Jessica Greenbaum

Isn’t it sometimes Y? Oh, wrong rule. In Geoff Moorman’s self-education about poems—how they are shaped, what they omit and what they mean—this is pretty straightforward. Cat burglar. But seriously, because he was so kind as to read all twenty-five lines, let me venture that I was happily toddling along down the page with the kind of carelessness I usually reserve for the rest of my life, and was so excited about “zarf” that I fell out of step, something like skipping a toe-tap in a jig. Maybe some meaning can be found where the Y was not. Perhaps that no systems are perfect, but still afford a coherent whole? Or that we cannot find that out deliberately?

Originally Published: September 5, 2012

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This prose originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2012


 Jessica  Greenbaum


Jessica Greenbaum’s first book, Inventing Difficulty (Silverfish Review Press, 1998), won the Gerald Cable Prize. Her second book, The Two Yvonnes (2012), was chosen by Paul Muldoon for Princeton’s Series of Contemporary Poets. She is the poetry editor for upstreet and lives in Brooklyn. She received a 2015 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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