I think I’m going to have to quit drinking I think I’m too old for it now…

I think I’m going to have to quit drinking I think I’m too old for it now.
You’re right; I was just trying to make it clear, somehow.
I’ve been working on a number of different possibilities.
And this oh so canny gambit of withholding rancor just to gain attention.
Can I try that? Nope. Cool.
What, so that you can have email from strangers who want to know who the fuck this
            person is who veers from invective?
On top of that, he has asked if we could help him move out again, surreptitiously, of
            course, because he feels like he has made a big mistake moving back in.
The house still has most of the boxes in boxes and piles and nothing where it’s supposed to
There’s something wrong here, and it’s you, poopy face.
The realm of the subjective that I want to avoid is the realm of the thought metaphor.
Well I am still on the Oregon Trail, maybe I will see you in the Congo?

Note on the Text

Correspondences is composed of 62 poems assembled while cleaning out personal email ahead of a swift termination date at an old job. It took 11 hours and 46 minutes. I don’t know why I timed it. I was thinking about my time there as congealed labor, though I didn’t do much of anything for 20 hours a week in my hidden cubicle. All lines are written by correspondents to me (and so “found” in a specific sense, perhaps “addressed” would be a better term). I normalized the punctuation and capitalization a bit for consistency. Only one line was taken from any given email. Many poets’ prose is poached here, but none from the Atlanta group (where I would read this material as soon as it was written).

John Lowther’s work appears in the anthologies The Lattice Inside (UNO Press, 2012) and Another South: Experimental Writing in the South (University of Alabama Press, 2003), and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems (Negative Capability Press, 2015). Held to the Letter, co-authored with Dana Lisa Young, is forthcoming from Lavender Ink. His website: http://lowtherpoet.wordpress.com.

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