Poetry News

You Might Connect to Erika Staiti's 'The Planned Experiment'

By Harriet Staff

We know it might be every day that a new poem is posted online (anyone got the stats on this?), but we've got to share with you the new work from Bay Area poet Erika Staiti that Robin Tremblay-McGaw has published on X Poetics. Tremblay-McGaw writes of the new addition:

This past spring season, I missed Erika Staiti's Small Press Traffic reading, so I thought I'd ask her to share some of what she's currently working on. I enjoy the coolness of this prose. You know the subjects, you too have been surveilled; we've also gotten something wrong.

There's more here than meets the eye, hmm? We could have presented it as Staiti's take on ubersubjectivity as it relates to the contemporary cultural (poetry) outing, probably. Read an excerpt from "The Planned Experiment" here; and for an entirely different reading experience, check out this interview with Ariel Goldberg and Staiti about her excellent Trafficker chap, In the Stitches. A bit from that:

Ariel Goldberg: In the Stitches has a consistency of the line length that resembles exchanges like the impulsive glory of a blurt embedded in electronic modes of rapid back and forth. For example: "sent undiscard in/ communicative breath," talks to "hardly metal/ meandering metadata". You build a commentary fizzling and resurfacing. Audible and inaudible. I want to read the voices here as different orchestral instruments. But I heard you read a version of this out loud at the Oakland Artifact reading series in late 2009. Your reading of these lines in the one voice that, however variant they are, must house them, makes me think you are the newspaper reader at the bar in the early 19th century. You are reading us a language from a world you've created. You are literate in the language, but we watch it with you be deceitful, towards us, as equals. Things repeat: there are systems; you follow rules. So if this piece is a world's language sample, what does the world look like?

Erika Staiti: There is some kind of world in which this language is existing but I don't really know what it is. It's partly an imagined/fantasized world but it steals objects and ideas from our world. I don't feel so literate in this world at all. I feel pretty removed from it. In the earliest version, I was trying to write lines that would negate themselves. I wanted to see what something looked like if it could be itself and also its own negation.....

Originally Published: August 28th, 2012