MY FIRST VISION WAS OF GABRIEL STANDING IN A FIRE
These ten-word poems were composed during long walks in New York City, mostly while commuting between Morningside Heights and Clinton Hill. The language was gathered from the cityscape (signs, graffiti, stickers, etc.), in photographs, one word at a time in order of discovery, so that the subsequent word is closer to the walk’s destination than the prior. Edwards calls this type of poem a cortina.
A Ford-model vehicle sold primarily in the United Kingdom from 1962 until 1982, the Cortina was named after Cortina d’Ampezzo, a town in the Italian Alps. In a number of Romance languages, cortina means curtain, and it also echoes or is related to other words that evoke enclosure, law, love, obscurity, cooking, and servitude, which all seem relevant to the vocation or curse of poetry.
Author: Joshua Edwards
Booklet, 32 pp, 7 x 5.25 in
Published: October 26, 2023