Make me whir-r-r, whir-r-r, whir-r-r, You will laugh and shout with glee, whir-r-r, whir-r-r, whir-r-r! my coat cracks as I try to buckle it round me; and the sleeves reach no farther than my elbows! What is this mystery? And how did we come to this deserted quarter of the world? Am I the terrible consequences of sins committed by the fashion industry? Are you? How am I to regain balance and where are you to be found? Surely we are like two tiny fishes in the infinite ocean of time drifting with current and tide; the waters so placid scarce ripple could make a chime. Sunny days, so joyous and bright that they glide like a swift panorama and fade like the storm-drenched hues of dawn.
3 Questions for John
What was your process for creating this work?This was part of a larger series of linked prose poems that started as a found poetry project. The project was a game of exquisite corpse that used the search boxes at digital libraries like the Internet Archive. I would use search phrases at the digital library and select passages from books that started with those phrases and string them together. This poem is mix of phrases from the search results with my edits.
What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?
I do a lot of conceptual poetry and am fascinated with uncreative writing where work is generated from other work but this genre allowed me to play with juxtapositions of text to create poetic moments that weren't part of the original text. Content online is usually so targeted and this allowed me to reintroduce serendipity into searching.
What is the significance of this work to you?
This poem is just so joyous and full of life. You can feel the whir as you read the poem. I find it hard to make a poem that sounds buoyant in general, but to be able to do that with found text makes the text mean that much more for me.
John Rodzvilla teaches in the Publishing and Writing programs at Emerson College in Boston. His work has appeared in Harvard Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, gorse, DecomP, Verbatim and Bad Robot Poetry.