M.A. Vizsolyi on his poem, “Clip Clop”

M.A. Vizsolyi’s poem, “Clip Clop,” appears in our Spring 2012 issue, guest edited by Nick Flynn. “Israel” opens with these lines:

from the balcony of footpaths
speak of the black horse
& the dead rider
how old the mirror is which brings with it spirits
like tracks filled with basil
from where you stand
sing an antique song

Here, M.A. Vizsolyi describes his process:

What a poem begins by saying and what a poem ends up arriving at are, often, the thing that gives a poem its energy. It must have been the first few lines that brought an image of my childhood friend, who died when he was in high-school, into my head. Who knows why these things happen when we’re writing, but I felt as if I had to honor it somehow. Of course, this poem is not quite an elegy either. I couldn’t bring myself to make it so, which is why the line reads, “you who i dare not name now.”  That’s all I’ll say about the subject matter.

It is part of a larger series of poems, which frequently address a mysterious ‘you,’ and part of a new manuscript I’m writing entitled, “Case Studies & Notes on Melancholia.” I began experimenting with the use of the second person in these poems almost by accident– the ‘you’ just popped up. It is challenge because a poem using the second person can often sound antiquated, which is not always a bad thing, if done well.