I hear he has given up hard candies in favor of birth control pills…

I hear he has given up hard candies in favor of birth control pills.
And who am I to judge his sort of aesthetic of personality.
But I have. You seem to me the exploratory type, but you’re not shy or unassertive.
Didn’t mean to imply that I was turned off by your tone at all. Or oppositionality.
“No preservatives” is funny to grouchy and introvert Germans, since “Präservative” means
            “condoms”.
I would say that I believe that language is art.
It is certainly not just for utility. Well, enough superfluity.
I don’t actually have that particular draft around, but your breaks are always more
            interesting to me than my own.
I found this very depressing since my initial teenage poetry epiphany had been through
            Pound. The hunger for community, I guess.
I’ve shared this idea with others, usually to blank stares or wiggly discomfort.
But basically a poet when things go right. All of which makes me giggle since I have the
            faintest knowledge of any of them.
Would like to find a reason and a form that would be worth the trouble.

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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