Fluctuations in Verbal Moods

What struck me in the poetry of Alice Burdick is the mixing of verbal moods. She shifts within one poem or another between the indicative and the imperative. I will not quote her but will note here that the title of one of her collections (Flutter) can be read both as a noun describing a type of action and as a verb inciting us to that action. Instead here is a little homage.

Water freezes.
Freeze water.

To observe
To intervene

What I have learnt in the end is that what subtends the shifting between imperative and indicative is the infinitive. And what one learns from the surreal moments of Burdick’s poetry is fluidity in even the what appear to be the most stable monuments. Monument betokens movement. Burdick launches us as she arrests. Witness the ending of “I circuit hot foot”

All closed doors shall eventually open. Stale time shall go. Corners of dust shall release old secrets into tunnel of sunshine. Large murderous buildings shall tilt and bend and lighten up. Why did we take it all so seriously?

We are frozen as we freeze. Erode is the principal mode.

And so for day 1181

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