Issue 33 – 2022 – John Kinsella – Beyond Owen Land’s 1970 Film ‘Remedial Reading Comprehension’

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John Kinsella

Beyond Owen Land’s 1970 Film ‘Remedial Reading Comprehension’


Building the auditorium again.

     Lapse in sleep. I would ask an

audience to talk as performance

more than what to expect, what

to dream up: each and every

potential, each seat aligned to

encourage. ‘This Film Is About

You’, thanks, as recipient in mauve

evening and trees nervous, dogs

bark at jogger in lonely necks,

a grain of rice lodged unhusked

to dissolve for a supermarket

tree shelves running to product

squelch of about and articles

called superstition in linear

straitjacket of sleep anxiety —

     ever for ever for ever as

repetition, teaches a left

right left right in English

appearance of expanding places

which Manifest Destiny latched

onto mistakes to reoccur as mistakes

like a surge from our mental capacitors,

complex Jehovah a risible explanation

thinking of the balance between sunset

and trees I alight on to make sentences

to parse vweet vweet vweet vweet

or akin in comprehensive moonlit

recirculation coming home breathless,

‘Not About Its Maker’ nonetheless

     each step a letter, each foot off

the ground a silhouette a nimbus ladder.




John Kinsella’s recent books of poetry include Insomnia (Picador, 2019/Norton, 2020), Brimstone: a book of villanelles (Arc, 2020) and Aftering Delmore Schwartz’s A Season in Hell [Rimbaud] Translation (Equipage, 2021). Recent critical titles include Beyond Ambiguity: tracing literary sites of activism (Manchester University Press, 2021) and Legibility: an anti-fascist poetics (Palgrave, 2022).

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