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Poets have been interested in the structure of language for eons, but the structure is changing. What's excited me most about some of the contemporary poetry I've read lately is its attempt to reconcile the seduction of literature's history with the digital omniprescence of words today.

Lauren Levin, a New Orleans native who now lives in the Bay Area, grapples with structure in the below excerpt (it recently appeared in RealPoetik), bringing a Romantic lilt into contact with digital distraction. Levin edits Mrs. Maybe, a "journal of skeptical occultism," and her chapbook Flaming Telepaths was recently released. Not Time is her forthcoming chapbook.


Remember the name of grandeur’s fortune,
Keenan. Your fortune one day.
Keenan, the name of grandeur’s fortune one day.
One day it feels like we do mock it.
It feels like you want to rub your thigh
not even to mock it,
not even to mock your sight.
Option 8 is a bullet, F8, F9
A predator is one extreme end of a group of positions,
he does not like having blind spots
in his imagination,
or horse eyes, or gem-like parents.
He had to hear 9 people’s counsel, from which
they had their birth. Persons of this type say,
and that type say, their candor.
The penalty for injustice is according to disposition,
I keep cutting this posture back
into a sinking knuckle, deep breathing,
bitch’s response, I don’t mind.
When you talk about belief
in the feeling of production, land a beat at the gate,
a whole excessive fear of failing my meaning,
there must be a knee hand ball joint
to respect. She was pleased, I believe,
with how death arrived
the telling of production, skating off
into a production place. Don’t worry,
your name won’t represent your actions:
in fact, I’m writing people’s names less
the more I know them. That’s to Keenan:
because I am distracted.


('double sided redblue tape', digital film (still), 2009. Photo: Richard Taylor.)

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