Make It New by Rae Armantrout

Shaking the parts of speech

like fluff
in a snow globe —

the way sleep scrambles
life’s detritus.

Each poem says,
"I’m desperate"

then, "Everything
must go!"

(To hear something familiar here
leads to careful laughter.)

"Go" where?

The steady pressure
on the accelerator
can be stipulated
in advance

as can the stubby bushes
blurred by peripheral vision.

And someone will have set down
a diner or a gas station
at a desolate crossroads

and tried naming it
to evoke

the whole human situation

the impulse to do so.

What that name will be
is the one thing we don’t know

by Rae Armantrout

from Next Life (Wesleyan University Press)

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