Recent Work By Andrew Demcak


By Andrew Demcak


They arrive demanding scalloped clouds.
My angels, the winged allegory
of pale feathers, HIV drawing blood.

O red, Father Earth, is this the story
of replacement? I am pricking my thumbs,
smearing distant torsos and steel eyeholes.

Friends alight, reliable as mirrors.
Their power, glory: ten nails driven in.
See? Their bones were given, nursed by stars.

(coughs, wipes nose on sleeve) So tell me, Andrew – Night Chant, how did it all begin for you? A bolt of lightning, a vision of some kind?

Night Chant (Lethe Press 2011) began with the leftover poems that didn’t fit in with the tone of my first collection, Catching Tigers in Red Weather (Three Candles Press, 2007). Around 2009, I became interested in the idea of “hidden,” which logically leads to the idea of “discovery.” I was still experimenting with poetic voice and narrative in my work, (e.g. who is the speaker, to whom is the poem addressed, etc.) and playing around with burying poetic forms within line breaks. The poems in Night Chant all have very formal metrical structures and/or rhyme schemes, but the forms are embedded in the line breaks to conceal them. Once the true line is discovered, the reader can see that these poems are in the tradition of French syllabic verse. For example, here is the poem “Announcement” with its “true” lines revealed: