THE MOVIES. HOME LIFE. CHILDHOOD. PAST CENTURIES.I feel like I could read this all day. Or at least for the length of the poem. In the context of a poetry book, words in caps don't feel like shouting, they just feel uniquely flat, uninflected, like a ticker tape of poetry, like a telegram from space. And in a way this makes them more poignant. It's like watching a robot cry.
FACES AND TALK. PAINTINGS AND SENSATIONS.
STUBBORN SHYNESS. BRIGHTBIRDS FLOWERING
MORNING. ORSON WELLES. CITIZEN KANE.
MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.
DAVID COPPERFIELD. TREASURE ISLAND. THE KID.
ORPHANS. POPPY. MISTAKEN IDENTITY. LIGHT IN THE
HALLWAY. ROSES OF DAWNING OVER THE SHOULDER.
POE. POE. NOT EVEN DARKNESS. NEVER GIVE A SUCKER
AN EVEN BREAK. AND THERE IS NO TIME, NO TIME. NO.
WITH THE CAT HOWLING TO BE LET IN. NO NEED TO
WRITE. ONLY THIS WHAT I'M TELLING YOU. TELLING
MYSELF. THERE IS A BEGINNING TO ALL THIS. AN
OCCASION. SCOTTISH BAGPIPES ARE ITS EQUIVALENT,
BUT IT BEAMS DOWN IN SPECKLED LIGHTS. SPOKEN
LIGHTS. I WOULDN'T SAY. GOAT LIGHT. SAWDUST.
Karl Parker's Personationskin , which I reviewed a while back, also has a long section written mostly in caps. Here's what I wrote about it then (you can read some excerpts in the full review):
Flipping through Personationskin from back to front (as one may do with poetry collections, which needn’t necessarily be read in consecutive order), one sees first a section nearly all in caps. Since I decided to read from front to back as presumably intended, I was dreading this last section (titled “Horn o’ Plenty, or Notes Toward a Supreme Cornucopia”; in a previously published version, the alternative title was “A Poem in Sticky Notes”), fearing the worst. But it’s a delightful kind of tantrum, a Tourette’s-like explosion of pseudo-jokes and semi-notes after the controlled play that comes before it. And the Caps Lock effect actually renders the outbursts and name-games more hilarious.One more example, from "Some Occurrences on the 7:18 to Penn" by Ana Bozicevic:
And the stars go:See? That's how stars talk.
THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR US
MOLESTED BY HAIRCUTS ON LAW AND ORDER AND WHATS GONE WRONG
WITH THE SKYLINE, WHY,
INSTEAD OF READING A BOOK YOU READ STAR OR THE TOOTHPASTE, LOST IN AN ANCIENT ALMANAC
ANNE CARSON IN HEAVEN NERVOUS DESPERATE STUDENT
HER WINDBREAKER FILTHY CLUTCHING THE TRAIN SEAT SO TIGHT WE
SAW HER WRISTPULSE IT WAS
LIKE SEEING HER HEART IN COUNTDOWN
ITS NIGHT. THE ELEPHANT OF POETRY
WE MIGHT BE ON AN INVISIBLE PLANK
ABOVE THE DARKNESS AND IT MIGHT BE
A BLESSING, ANNE WHATS THE WORD FOR
BRANCHES DUMPING THEIR SHINE ON YOUR HEAD, WE THINK OF IT EVERY
TIME WE SEE A BOX. HER NECKS SHADOW
TRANSLUCENT, SHE TURNS TO…
NOTHING TO LOVE: CHEEK CLOUDS, EYEBROW NIGHT
WHAT PASSES FOR EUROPE
BOMBS. JUST LIKE US, PASSING FOR LIGHT