Steven Schroeder deposited the fragility of gathering | poems and fragments, 2004-2013, volume three in the group GS Poetry and Poetics on MLA Commons 7 months ago
The third of a series of collections that draw on material from notebooks I kept between 2004 and 2013. I returned to that material in 2021 with Basho and haibun in mind, as well as the prosimetrum tradition that flourished in medieval Europe. Both play off a tension between poetry and prose, and, looking back, that is what I found myself doing during that decade, when I was dividing my time among Shenzhen, Chicago, and the Texas Panhandle – and spending considerable time on the road betwixt and between. Haibun and prosimetrum both call our attention to the fact that writing itself is a journey, a practice (as de Certeau recognized) akin to walking. That is how I think of this work – as a long walk that was and continues to be a practice of meditation. All of the texts are from the third of ten notebooks and were drafted between April 2005 and February 2006. Some of the material has appeared previously in poetry collections I have published since 2006, but I have gone back to the original drafts to rethink and reconfigure what appears here. Almost all of the material in this third volume was composed while walking (or, sometimes, driving) and committed to writing during stops along the way (perchings in my flight, one might say, with William James and Richard Luecke in mind). That much of the material was composed while walking is important for the rhythm of both the poetry and the prose in the collection. It may be measured in breaths, steps, stops, and heartbeats – a reminder that this is the work of material bodies moving in space and time – the writer, the reader, the words on the page, and the ground beneath the feet of all three. In this volume, I’ve used details from three paintings for the cover and section title pages: “a passing storm” (2016), “watch for falling light 1” (2014), and “watch for falling light 2” (2014).