alphabetic constraint


Piano, piano, piano,
A decrescendo.
Such desires as he knew.
Transparency of the house.
Error made him lose another
Right that he should leave
the enjoyment.
Now the name of an enormous variety
of satisfactions.
And he started forward, fell, arose
fell again, walked.
Kursk station on a hot summer
morning in the year 1900.

- - -

Tom Devaney is working on a new series of alphabetic acrostics. Above is one of them. He's (often, not always) end-stopping the penultimate line, so that the final line can be a fragment in the imagist mode (with the "objective" descriptor of the haiku operating somewhere back there in the logical-rhetorical lineage).

I believe that the sheer pressure of the constraint has Tom thinking, at the end, that he needs a denotative fragment. In this case somewhat simply, it makes one think of the poem's title in case the connection had been implicit up to that point.

Here's another, working somewhat in the same way.

- - -


My ideas of the prize.
A ship taken by force.
Nautical waves, nautical waves of light.
In a privateer The Manichaean.
Chilling night, steam-engine afternoons.
Here I am without you.
At moments all can spring from all.
Evil is a catch-all crime pitched
to its own composite ends.
Again away from you by the river dock.
NIKE the Greek goddess of victory in billboard bold.