It is a fairly common convention…

It is a fairly common convention.
But, as you must, as you must.
Probably nothing. Victory is yours.
I like the audio cue of Tarzan, that’s funny.
And that is also roughly what it’s like for me to create art.
Maybe that’s one thing I and my contemporaries can agree on.
I’m also glad to hear you’re thinking of terminology―not enough of us are, not enough
            discussion of these things.
The motives don’t always necessitate their desired outcomes, with which I am sure we are
            all familiar.
Actually to this mortal sin I have already confessed, I did, I did!
Much better, and sadly much worse.
Since you told me your platform and my vindication rests on such things I’d say get rid of
            the interest and your money.
Which means there’s no model we can use to track or evaluate what we’re doing, or how.
            Just kidding!
But it did slip out honestly, so I can’t repudiate it entirely.
And asocial. Maybe it was those silly tongue-and-throat diagrams or the fact that I couldn’t
            read French that put me off, I don’t know.
That’s the million dollar question.
If I had a life, I would write about it.

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:

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