Sunday, August 31, 2014

the last book I ever read (Nicholson Baker's Traveling Sprinkler, excerpt three)

from Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker:

Now your poem is in trouble. You’ve got wasps in the hose reel, you’ve got the sprinkler twirling at the end of the hose, and you’ve got Debussy’s cathedral sunk under the waves. You’ve got fish, you’ve got tomatoes. You’re starting to get strange purple interference patterns, fringe moiré patterns, at the edges of each metaphor, where it overlaps its neighbor. Photographers call this “purple fringing,” and it’s a flaw. This is the moment when your creative writing teacher may say: “You’ve got an awful lot going on here, Paul. Maybe you need to pare this poem down and pick a controlling image.”

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