Please Read Thee Fine Print

Did you know that Jo made a hybrid? Something about being versatile that makes the world go round and round. Because you simply spin me. And Manson ain’t quite Manson no more. Whatever happened to cults? Did the weather get too cold or clout?

There’s something to this language stuff. A rhetorical flourish, an ornamental sentence. Scholars speaking as if they’ve studied the thesaurus. Merriam is a pretty hot lady and Webster is definitely a dilf. I’d love to shower her in adulation over the fine crispness of her untouched spine while engaging in pure intemperance with him. Eagle Rare bourbon is phenomenal. God Bless Ah…no, no…God Bless Am…no, no, no, E Pluribus Unum.

How prodigal is the prodigious expanse of Protestantism? Praise the priory, prim and prop. I can’t wait to count the building fund. Did I spot some Gucci slippers? Honk for Jesus. Save your sole? They scrape scales of off skinless things and feed the waste to the masses. Crossing forbidden fields on Sunday mornings in a straight gray line surrounded by war machines, and coastal live oaks. I smell turpentine and Crest.

Are these the correct terms and conditions? Is there a paywall secured by cryptocurrency? Inflation is a bitch but so are female dogs. This gum is really minty. Sometimes mastication, if you really sit and digest the definition, is a violent occurrence. Raze the page. I need all medical professionals currently working as mind readers. It’d be nice if Rhimes wrote them. Cosmic sentient beings have no need to read.




For this week, I again decided to tackle the creative option being inspired by Harryette Mullen. Coming fresh off of the Language poets, from last week, I enjoyed continuing engaging with their methods through Mullen’s work. Both of her poems, “from Trimmings” and “from S*PeRM**K*T” inspired my own poem. Both of Mullen’s poems are filled with free associations in the construction of language of the works. I particularly love the associations used in the fourth stanza/paragraph of “from S*PeRM**K*T”: Off the pig, ya dig? He squeals, grease the sucker. Hack that fatback, pour the pork. Pig out, rib the fellas. Ham it up, hype the tripe. Save your bacon, bring home some. (Mullen, 697). Here, the associations evolve from and revolve around the porcine—an absolute feast and survey of Southern cuisine and culinary traditions.


In my own work, I vacillate between different themes/motifs e.g., sex, religion, queerness, politics. Each stanza/paragraph jostles those themes around with the use of language associations. I also wanted to play with the idea of engaging the reader more actively by charging them with reading the fine print—the implication being that something could be misinterpreted, or overlooked.


Once again, I delved into the inhabitation of the “I” to increase that subjective experience when dealing with any kind of art, but especially poetry—where meaning can sometimes control the narrative of language by demanding that there must be meaning. I experimented with the sound of words greatly in my own work through the use of assonance and alliteration. I used repetition is coy and covert ways to reinforce sound. My poem should definitely be read aloud to capture those techniques at play.


Finally, I used the idea of “Terms and Conditions” agreements as the over arching template for my poem. The idea being that most people don’t read the terms and conditions of most things they engage with, but still engage with them anyhow regardless of the terms they have accepted and refused to read. Why do we engage with any poetry that we read? Are there “terms and conditions” to the poetry we read or is it just language?



One Response to Please Read Thee Fine Print

  1. Isaac October 20, 2022 at 3:03 am #

    Hey Carl! This was a super cool read, I have checked out some of your writing already on here and yeah keep up the good work, very fun stuff to read. Taking on the terms and conditions as a template for the poem was a really neat idea. It subverts the idea of art in ways, it creates a place for art even in the smallest or largely ignored places, so very good idea that was executed in a perfect way.

    There is also some great one liners in here. I loved the last line very much, especially in the context of the template you took. Here is some really interesting information that one could miss out on if these were terms and conditions for something. It would be interesting if you could actually like put this poem to actually look like terms and conditions as you see them on a computer. Also the ” I need all medical professionals” line was interesting. It reminded me of Antonin Artaud a bit, he was this French poet who was schizophrenic, sounded like something like he would say.

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