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At the Mall of America

David Pritchard

At the Mall of America


Then went down to the Mall of America

to apply to be the writer in residence at the Mall of America, yes

the application I fill out asks for a paragraph about myself and what I would write

as writer in residence at the Mall of America

and if I make it to the next round I will have to send a sample 500-800 words

            demonstrating the caliber of my writing

as it would be written on-site, at the Mall of America

I say I want to write a poem about as close as you could get

to the theory and the practice of the Mall of America, a SUPER-POEM

which previously was hopeful and is now tasked with clamoring up out of

a well of despair—what will it mean to despair in the poetry of the future

who is keeping track of the lineaments of our feelings as they take place in time

the future is the only disruption left to us

to die is the only adventure you have left

who has distinguished between verse and prose

the only possible poem is written in prose

and handed out at the Mall of America

I have not yet had any coffee this morning, nor have I had anything to eat

nor have I considered what it is exactly I will do

if the plans I made last night fall through

to rhyme is an adventure, though not great

I will just have to work by myself for the rest of the day

I suppose I could go to the diner and then work by myself for the rest of the day

I do not like going to diners by myself because I am writing not only a super-poem

but a poem of ineluctable social togetherness, and what is the diner if not

the locus of ineluctable social togetherness? I get up to make coffee, I sit back down

there are computer-related things going wrong with my computer

for example why is this website opening whenever I haven't opened a website yet?

poetry works in mysterious ways but this is not one of them! in summary

I am proposing an innocuous picture-thinking at the Mall of America

I am wondering if anyone has heard of picture-thinking and, if so, could you tell me

what does that mean and who is it mean to

I do not think I would be very good at terrorizing the patrons of the Mall of America

Zach has the megaphone but it is mainly for shouting at trees

this too is a form of picture-thinking that will not bring back more than it left with

it won't come back in a recognizable form at all

can we get away with all this at the Library Of Congress

I meant to write Mall of America

this then is the secret subject of the poem / what's poetry about American poetry?

Theory is born at the moment it dissolves into poetry

poetry is dissolved at the moment it encounters the super-poem

somebody is peeing outside at 1:30 p.m. of a Saturday / the temperature in Fahrenheit

(I do not know how to spell Fahrenheit) is COLD

as it is as it must be in Minneapolis where it snows, is snowing

outside the Mall of America which is not—

I am very happy to announce I have been elected the writer in residence for the Mall

            of America

if you need me I will be reachable at the Mall of America

the integument burst asunder at the Mall of America

the knell of the Mall of America sounds

this is the negation of the negation

sequel to Revolution or Decadence

at the end of the Mall of America

David W. Pritchard is a poet and a scholar, but not a poet-scholar. He lives in Holyoke where he can often be seen walking a dog named Shelley—for Mary, not Percy. Recent writing in verse and prose appears in or is forthcoming from The Tiny, jacket2, Tripwire, Paint Bucket, and Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight. When he is not walking the dog, David is allegedly working on his dissertation on New Narrative and the poetics of revolutionary transition.