Reflections on the Process — Douglas Kearney


It seems counterintuitive, but receiving a word bank from a collaborator reveals perhaps as much about yourself as it does your accomplice. For me, I kept looking at the list I gleaned from Terry’s fevered writings, desperately trying to find the words “down” and “from,” prepositions (I think I’m drawn to down as preposition more than as adverb and hardly ever as noun) characteristic of the motions my poems tend to consider. But she gave me “out,” which, like down, is mad flavorful as a preposition. The disarticulations project reminds me of the sampling work of J Dilla and license to chop and reconfigure another poet’s writing was a pleasure. I won’t risk an attempt to analyze Terry via the words provided, except that one of my favorite alphabetically sequential pairs is “weirdly Western” followed closely by “Vulgar wad,” while the quartet of “tiptoe to toasty tongues” is messing with my life right now. Even as recomposed by the sort function of Microsoft Word, these combos seem to me imagined by the same writer who turned my fevers into “Janky Mojo.” What a generous writer; what a generative experiment!


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