Late summer, slow chauffeur, bed hovering, night so reluctant to put me down.

Value and Disclosure

"The cost of defensive publication can be zero, like a conference paper."

The Black Swan Tool

Or, the problem of the black swan tool.

Black swan, signifying a statistical exception that falsifies or repudiates a dominant worldview.

Swan tool, used by recovery servicemen to 'break into' a vehicle, often to free occupants without agency (eg, a child or a pet) from imprisonment.

The poem as black swan tool attempts to engineer an exception, an egress from 'the literature' –– from the literary economy or marketplace –– yet simultaneously also attempts to break into the vehicle of literary history, or the conceit of a bounded discipline and its progress.

Where aspirant poets desire to invent, but refuse or are impatient with the poem, the tool is the poetic community, or the movement.

The problem leads frequently to defensive publication –– and the vector of poetry is away from publication.


That poetry is endlessly establishing conditions for fair use.


That for the poet witness is never incomplete.


That against the literature the poet is an expert witness.


That the literature is inconsistent.


That poetry is forensics, and the field under its scrutiny not Literature, but "the literature".