The Hank Snow Album Cover Confessional

I fall for people who are trying a new approach.

Michele Battiste is a Boulder Colorado based poet exploring the role of constraint in conceptual poetry and the limit of template as form.

Michele co-opted the marketing and research survey program Survey Monkey and set up three templates for poets to write a poem in: 1) Confessional 2) Love 3) Condemnation.  She’s “interested in how the digital interface affects the writer’s experience, how the concept of ‘play’ factors in the experience, how the digital interface either expands the limits of the forms or speeds their ruptures, and any ways that the writer can subvert the form. And when is the form exhausted? And is filling in boxes in responses to prompts an act of writing poetry?”

I completed the Confessional templete and wrote The Hank Snow Album Cover Confessional, published on Michele’s website.

Have a read of other template poems.  They’re worth it.

The Hank Snow Album Cover Confessional

Forgive me for being one hundred and one, weary, a good
hum, a bad run. The bar refuses to keep

me out, the doormen refuse to refuse
their number one customer around its face. I’ve fallen for a numberless year

old Bolivian tailor who slows days.
I’ve invoked the cocoon. I’ve slowed no “I” to slow

“I’s” that lead to the deserted ancients. With totem.
Tiny wisps. A palm-eye negotiating third eye, the chakra hooked

inside a guitar string. I’ll get over it and cross his measuring tape all over
again: the lost Bolivian, the desperate seer

with her hair. But I’ll not mediate argument to write
someone else’s memory. At twelve, I was shown by a seventh son

of seven sons within the windy windy canyons of Des Moines. My first cousin
shamed me into horsewhipping a scorn I could hide.

That seventh son is now one hundred and one with a confusion since her
hair the shape of my tailor. My organ grinder is an inappropriate

panhandler I sometimes indulge. I don’t indulge in water.
I don’t wear rhinestones among the stampeding cattle run who disregarded

floral arrangements unlike my chakra the last time we deserted. But I did. Found
damp crinkle of dubious path but let their manhole covers pursue my stormdrains again

and again. I strum. I’m a good landscape who can’t help landscaping
wallflower impeding on the horizon. This is not scattered ruffian.

All of my ruffians are unending.

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4 Comments

Filed under Experiment, Poetry, Published

4 responses to “The Hank Snow Album Cover Confessional

  1. JB, this rolls like an out-a-control go-kart. Each image bouncing off the previous and illuminating the next. Am saddling up to read more of the template poems you have linked. Soon…

    • cheers GNunn, the bouncing really comes from the prompts in the template and how much you let yourself go within the constraints. there’s one on the site called ‘The Dining Room Chair Confessional’ I really like.

  2. gnunn

    At seventeen I was improved a ceiling of zero… JB, The Dining Room Confessional is somethign else aint it!

    • Right!?!?! It’s the right stuff! This line: “But I’ll not activate tablecloths to fire
      someone else’s gravity.” and these: “This is not a diary. // All of my diaries are alive.”

      I get excited by that stuff

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