End of the Lines

“End of the Lines” by Adam Deutsch

This project has 2 poems from a manuscript called Room Temperature, with a long procedural piece in between. The poem, “End of the Lines,” is made of the words that end each line in the manuscript in the order they appear in the manuscript. So, the first poem in the manuscript begins with these lines:

When the world’s just greeting notes
made from box flap cardboard,
a neighbor, diamond print
hot pants, and a dog

From these lines, “End of the Lines” begins with, “Notes, cardboard: print dog…” and what follows are the ends of the lines for the rest of that first poem, followed by the ends of the lines in each subsequent poem. While the language is preserved, punctuation is not, which allows for playing with parts of speech as we tend to search for rules as we read.

The piece was inspired by (and so is dedicated to) Geri Doran, who taught us to read the ends of the lines in a poem to see what kind of atmosphere is conjured by that placed language. It’s a project that helped a great deal as the manuscript was revised and edited, a meditative step to see what’s created when traditional grammar is compromised and reinvented.

If you’d like one, contact me (adamsdeutsch [at] gmail [dot] com), with a post address, and it’ll arrive with a note of gratitude. It’s also available at Verbatim Books in North Park, San Diego, CA.