Clown Cars

We editors are tasked with putting together the minnesota review‘s 81st issue (due out in Fall 2013), and it will be, for several of us, our first foray into the print publication world. Part of our initiation has been digging through the archives to see what themes reoccur across past issues, what sort of work we’ve chosen to publish, how those published pieces fit into each issue as a whole, and even how the page layout has changed over the years. You can imagine all the good work we found—and continue to find—in our archives.

Photographer: Kristin Nador

I came across Dean Young’s poem “Go On Too Long” in Issue 78, read it a few times, and thought, good god. It’s like one of those clown cars—you open the door and fifteen poems come pouring out after it. I mean there are poems inside this poem.

Below, you’ll find just one of the erasures I pulled from Dean’s poem as well as a link to the original piece here. And while you’re hanging around the archives, check out work from the other back issues available online. Maybe you’ll find something good enough to start erasing.

“Go Long”

Believe in the unspoken
breeze. In subtle April.
The mud whispers oil
to an intermediate state.
How I’m just getting to
shut up of hocus pocus
enough, sitting on every
poison. I am the wholer life.
Zip it, acupuncturists, and
the great struggle I set out
for you. Your purr articulation
of the gnats and their ra-ta-tat
ra-rah never boils over the
unrattled lava deep in the
stoppered hurricane off-shore.
Sulk not about the taxes you’re
paying me with no feelings
to grease, no love’s lost lease.
Let the bellyache break of waves
forget the burning signals. Let
me float off in a mist of never
know where I’m going. We all
go sometime so big. The Bolinas
rot. Manhattan’s fire makes ash
the inevitable doesn’t even have.

Nathan Blake was chosen as Time‘s Person of the Year in 2006.


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