Ed Skoog on his poems “Lighting” and “Get Free”

An image of multiple wire lightbulbs in the dark.
Ed Skoog’s poems, “Lighting” and “Get Free” appear in the Winter 2010-11 issue, of Ploughshares edited by Terrance Hayes. “Lighting” opens with these lines:

Note the surface that surrounds the word,
and how unlike its meaning, which you step
over to avoid, the word raised and untouchable.
Pitted prune, eaten bone, hay in a muddy yard.
Here, Skoog tells us how the poems came from a poetry-photography collaboration:
“Lighting” and “Get Free” are both founded on photographs of those words by J. Robert Lennon, as part of a collaboration called “Words in the Wild” we exhibited in Ithaca, NY last year, with twelve color photos of found texts, with my poems incorporating those texts. These photographs and others may be found at http://jrobertlennon.com. The fault is mine for any deficiency a reader may find in the poems, and the honor is Lennon’s for any admiration a viewer may have for the photographs. I admire Lennon’s photographs, his fiction (the novels On the Night Plain, Mailman, Castle, The Funnies, The Light of Falling Stars, and the short story collection Pieces for the Left Hand), and his friendship.

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