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 5th, 2012

Jessica Greenbaum is the author of Inventing Difficulty (Silverfish Review Press, 1998), winner of Gerald Cable Prize; The Two Yvonnes (Princeton University Press, 2012), named by Library Journal as a Best Book in Poetry; and Spilled and Gone (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019). She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and...

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