I am happy to announce that this month’s issue of Better Than Starbucks Poetry Magazine (the March 2020 issue) features my poem “Absence of Desire.” As long as this issue is live, you can read my poem and the issue’s other works online at betterthanstarbucks.org, and at any time you can purchase the print edition of the magazine at the Better Than Starbucks store. To find my poem, go to the “Experimental and Form Poetry” section.
“Absence of Desire” was inspired by a train of thought Krzysztof Kieślowski’s 1994 film Three Colors: White prompted in me about my generation’s general impotence (I am always interested in millennial malaise as a theme in contemporary art, one that is unfortunately not explored enough or well enough) and our incredible but too-often dormant potential. My sentiment in “Absence of Desire” has nothing to do with needing to want more stuff in a consumerism sense or any cheap “say yes to life” or “YOLO” mentality. My thoughts do have something to do with C.S. Lewis’s “men without chests” analogy.
“Unplowed, never left fallow” is the key line here. To leave farmland fallow is to plow and harrow it but not seed it for some period of time. Doing this keeps farmers from using up all the minerals and nutrients in their farm’s soil, which their crops would do if they never left parts of the land fallow. Plowing and harrowing breaks up the ground’s dense structure, aids irrigation, and turns organic material into the dirt to help decomposition and add nutrients from the newly turned organic material into the earth.
“Absence of Desire” is one poem made up of four stanzas of haiku with the last line of the first stanza repeated in the second and third stanzas and then implied and offered a solution in the fourth stanza. Lately, I have been experimenting quite a bit with different ways to apply traditional haiku structure in other, non-traditional form poems. By doing this, I am hoping to play around with poetic form architecture with a solid foundation under my feet.
The permanent link to my poem at Better Than Starbucks is anthonywatkins.wixsite.com/btsmar2020/experimental-form-poetry.