Scatterplot

David Koehn

Scatterplot

David Koehn

Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.

88 pages | 1 halftone, 1 table | 6 x 9
Paper $17.95 ISBN: 9781632430779 Published April 2020
Scatterplot navigates a vast landscape of imagination through variations on being lost and found. David Koehn’s investigative journeys allow space for the failures of consciousness and gaps in the knowable as he traverses a sensory terrain through the shadow of natural history and the glow of the family room TV. In this wilderness is a father and son walking the sloughs of the California delta, searching through the mayhem of a world dismissive of, but also requiring, love.

Koehn diagrams connections from media, art, film, music, nature, history, and his own family into a web of coordinates that form constellations of beauty and tragedy. He moves from the music of the Bad Brains, to the grotesque lifecycle of the Tongue-Eating Louse, to the deconstruction of Mutant Mania toys, and on through the poems of David Antin and the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, building a fantastical world from the wild realities of the real one. In a universe so full of imperfection one can’t help but both laugh and cry, the poet embraces the present while taking responsibility for his own insufficiencies. Amounting to a mix of experiments—erasures, surreal narratives, collage, walking poems, and more—the delta between right now and forever feels both inescapably present and delightfully confused. Immense vulnerability, infinitely odd observations, and uninhibited daring populate the psychological terrain in the poems of Scatterplot as Koehn invites us to join his spiraling poetic exploration.
 
Contents
Acknowledgments:

“Morning Meditation Busted Sonnet Sequence Failure 19,” Borderlands
"Delta 3: The Jewel-shaped Dorsal Shield -- Doesn’t Just Look Like Danger," East Bay Review
"The Day We Translated Catullus 8 in Mr. Nemesh’s Latin Class," Cider Press Review
"From Symphosius: Word Problems #38" & "Types of Angels," Compose
"Yosemite Lostness Fable," Columbia Poetry Review
"Ode to a Broken Typewriter Found While Hiking with My Son," FIVE:2:ONE
"Delta 15: The Definition of a Circle in a World without Geometry," Aquifer: The Florida Review
"Delta 17: Slough Water Never so Clear as Flow Tide in November," Free State Review
"$10,000 Pyramid Sonnet," Glass
"In Limbo at the Millennium," Greensboro Review
“Delta 1: What We Called Pickleweed Was Everywhere“ & “Delta 19: If You Were Given a Self-driving Car What Would You Do with It?” Green Briar Review
“Delta 20: Crossing the Bridge to Tassajara Trail,” Hotel Amerika
“The Shadow Thief,” Interim
"Delta 5: September 7th the Day After Reading Antin’s john cage is still cagey I See Waterweed Everywhere," & "Delta 6: At the Corner Of Byron Highway & Camino Diablo There Is a Stoplight," The Laurel Review
"Hocus Pocus," "Abracadabra," & "Delta 11: We’ve Heard Rumors the Water Hyacinth Was So Thick," Letters
"Delta 13: After We Walked the Sand Ending in the San Francisco Cliff Sides," VistantLit
"Delta 14: On Our Last Walk Past the Edge of the Neighborhood I Noticed a Man Patching His Fence" Mayday
“Poem to be Cut into Confetti,” and “Portrait of the Artist as a Playlist Sonnet,” Mary
"Delta 2: At Night We Walk & Talk To the Far Edge Of The Subdivision," Juxtaprose / MidnightOil
“Field of View” Mudlark
"Essay on Granite," North American Review
"Delta 10: The Green Plastic Flyswatter on the End Table Looks Like a Bug," OPOSSUM
"Noose," Pinch
"I Dream I Am Walking the Streets of Some Unknown Metropolis..." Prairie Schooner
“What Amanda’s Looks Say,” Sparkle & Blink | Quiet Lightning
“I Left Out That Part…” Shadowgraph
“This Year I,” "Superman Battles Cthulu Under the Watchful Eye of the Zap Gun," & “In a Family Room Of a House Where a Three-Year-Old Is Raising His Parents,” Smartish Pace
“Delta 7: Walking Over Here Today I Asked My Son, Bay, What Poem I Should Read” Talking Book
“Supernova,” TAB
DELTA 1: WHAT WE CALLED PICKLEWEED WAS EVERYWHERE 4
SCATTERPLOT: I DREAM I WALK THE STREETS OF AN UNKNOWN METROPOLIS WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN 6
DELTA 2: AT NIGHT WE WALK & TALK TO THE FAR EDGE OF THE SUBDIVISION 7
SCATTERPLOT: THIS POEM WILL HAVE 460 WORDS… 10
SCATTERPLOT: IN A FAMILY ROOM OF A HOUSE WHERE A THREE-YEAR-OLD IS RAISING HIS PARENTS 12
DELTA 3: THE JEWEL-SHAPED DORSAL SHIELD -- DOESN’T JUST LOOK LIKE DANGER 13
SCATTERPLOT: I-LEFT-OUT-THAT-PART BUSTED SONNET TANKA FOR AMANDA 15
SCATTERPLOT: WHAT AMANDA’S LOOKS SAY… 16
DELTA 5: SEPTEMBER 7TH THE DAY AFTER READING ANTIN’S john cage uncaged is still cagey, WATERWEED EVERYWHERE 18
SCATTERPLOT: $10,000 PYRAMID SONNET 20
SCATTERPLOT: ABRACADABRA 21
SCATTERPLOT: HOCUS POCUS 22
DELTA 6: AT THE CORNER OF BYRON HIGHWAY & CAMINO DIABLO THERE IS A STOPLIGHT 23
FROM CATULLUS: FOURTEEN ERASURES FROM THE LATIN OF THE FIRST THREE LINES OF 127 (CARMEN 48) BASED ON REBECCA RESINKSI’S ASSIGNMENT TO ERASE THE LAST THREE LINES OF 127 (CARMEN 48) 26
DELTA 7: WALKING OVER HERE TODAY I ASKED MY SON, BAY, WHAT POEM I SHOULD READ FIRST 27
SCATTERPLOT: SYMPHOSIUS WORD PROBLEMS #38 29
DELTA 10: THE GREEN PLASTIC FLYSWATTER ON THE END TABLE LOOKS LIKE A BUG 30
SCATTERPLOT: TYPES OF ANGELS 33
SCATTERPLOT: 5 34
DELTA 11: WE’VE HEARD RUMORS THE WATER HYACINTH… 35
SCATTERPLOT: AMANDA’S SUPERNOVA 37
SCATTERPLOT: POEM TO BE CUT INTO CONFETTI 39
SCATTERPLOT: THE DAY WE TRANSLATED CATULLUS 8 IN MR NEMESH’S LATIN CLASS 41
DELTA 13: AFTER WE WALKED THE SAND ENDING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CLIFF SIDES 42
SCATTERPLOT: From FIELD OF VIEW 44
DELTA 14: ON OUR LAST WALK PAST THE EDGE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD I NOTICED A MAN PATCHING HIS FENCE 54
SCATTERPLOT: SUPERMAN BATTLES CTHULHU UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF THE ZAP-GUN 56
FROM CATULLUS: FOURTEEN ERASURES FROM THE LATIN OF THE LAST THREE LINES OF 127 (CARMEN 48) BASED ON AN EXERCISE FROM REBECCA RESINSKI 57
DELTA 15: THE DEFINITION OF A CIRCLE IN A WORLD WITHOUT GEOMETRY 58
SCATTERPLOT: ESSAY ON GRANITE 60
SCATTERPLOT: YOSEMITE LOSTNESS FABLE 61
SCATTERPLOT: ODE TO A BROKEN TYPEWRITER FOUND WHILE HIKING WITH MY SON (PICARESQUE) 62
DELTA 17: SLOUGH WATER NEVER SO CLEAR AS FLOW TIDE IN NOVEMBER 64
SCATTERPLOT: IN LIMBO AT THE MILLENNIUM 66
SCATTERPLOT: NOOSE 67
SCATTERPLOT: SHADOW THIEF 68
DELTA 19: IF YOU WERE GIVEN A SELF-DRIVING CAR, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT? 69
SCATTERPLOT: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A PLAYLIST SONNET 70
SCATTERPLOT: MORNING MEDITATION BUSTED SONNET SEQUENCE FAILURE 19 71
DELTA 20: CROSSING THE BRIDGE TO TASSAJARA TRAIL 72

Review Quotes
Publishers Weekly
"Named for the visual depiction of statistical data, the contemplative second book from Koehn explores domestic chaos through a sequence of long poems. . . . Humor and verbal play appear to offer a coping strategy for the vulnerability and difficulties of daily life, which Koehn sensitively renders in this observant work."
Kazim Ali, author of Inquisition
"From its first line this poem announces itself in sinuous rhythms of sound. Koehn's sound is contemporary but his tricks ring with ancient echo⁠—apophatic exuberance resonates against aniconic description and coy anacoenotic inquiry. Still, it's no dusty fairy tale, nor rangy arrangement⁠—it's here and now, immediate and incisive."
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