Revisionist Approaches to Understanding Virtually Anything

When I approach the poem to be revised, I invariably experience the process as a taking-away.

Scraping off the outer layers of the poem with the hopes of exhuming something underneath. And looking through the past versions of my poems, you can see the effect each individual scraping has had.

As though different elements of the poem exist on different strata, and each scrape reveals something new.

Even if I add something new to a poem, I experience this as a taking-away. I take away white space. I take away blankness. I take away silence and in its place something new and better is revealed.

I think all of this comes down to the fact that, as I’ve mentioned earlier, when I go into a poem I rarely know where I’ll end up. Writing is as much an exploration for me as it is an arrival and revision is the furthering of that journey.

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