a non-pre-/pro-scriptive uncomprehensive list of some qualities I like in poems

a lot of nouns

syntactic complexity or strangeness

a combination of the borrowed and the personal

some sense that I am getting to know the poet through the poem, even as persona, or through even the coldest strategies (also a “personal” statement)

signs of struggle

simultaneously reaching historically backward and inventively forward

humor that isn’t merely smartass

mystery or puzzlement that isn’t just precious “vagueness”

a combination of innocence (the writer not knowing something) and experience (the writer knowing something

I have no problem with strategies and procedures but I want the poems to overcome those strategies and procedures rather than existing for the sake of them

no dogma.  fuck dogma

rhythmic, syntactical, lexical attention to forward motion, speed, slowness, stillness, loops, and backtracking

who am I to say what is gratuitous and what is not? but I don’t like it when I have a feeling that something is gratuitous: a political sentiment, say, or a pop culture reference, or a kind of empty “poetic” floatiness

a poem like a suckling duckling.

a cat suckling a duckling.