169.1: Jackson Wills:: The Wetlands at Duck Creek & The King End of the Apple: King & Apple, Lost
5 May 2014
To call something—anything—an explanation is to explain. Let me explain: I’m sitting on the roof of a new city tonight, looking over the water at this glittering and impressive skyline. I make out the different shapes, but I’m not familiar enough with the city to know what any one of them contains. I cannot explain them, but I could sketch a drawing if you asked. This week’s poems by Jackson Wills are architectural. Their math is visible, their forms accumulated and layered upon each other like some great cityscape. The words which take the shape of their containers remain, nonetheless, uncontained; “the field of apples / is filled with things not exactly apples.” A word may never mean the same thing twice, its sound (reading aloud is a must) endlessly reinvented with practice, wear, repetition. If I call this explanation, let it be explanation. Thus is the logic of Wills’ poems this week. Form—the sonnet, the tortuous patterning, rhyme, and repetition—imposes itself as an explanation for chaos inside. This poet has built structures upon which we may gaze and be moved. But where to, and for what, the poet leaves to us.