Don’t You Have a Map? Part 11

Don’t You Have a Map? is “a collaborative, traveling essay in letters” that tracks a series of poetic exchange between horse less Press editors Jen Tynes and Erika Howsare in their epistolary identities as J and E. The exchange is “traveling” in the sense that each part is hosted by a different website, and new readers may either trace a (mostly-unbroken) path of references leading back to each previous post, or use the central listing as a (somewhat reliable) map for more radial explorations.

Like the websites that host them, the many parts of E and J’s exchanges link up in systematic and yet unpredictable ways, like a game of ‘telephone’ or an exquisite corpse. ‘Crow’ becomes ‘crowbar,’ which in turn becomes ‘bar,’ and returns as ‘crow’ again. The landscape and its relationship to language is a wandering theme, whether that landscape be natural or digital: branches and writing sticks, beaches and printer’s marks, Google searches and broken image links litter the conversational byways of an exchange that is always going… somewhere.

WRT is proud to host this installment:

Don’t you have a map?

A collaborative, traveling essay in letters
‘twixt Erika Howsare & Jen Tynes.

Part 11, E to J-


Brooklyn cracking
letters still in envelopes,
mature. Watching

the news via everyone
else’s face
watching TV.


It’s been a while since dinnertime
arrived at the end of a book, “you”
make a nest in some electrodes, safely
and fairly.
letters jut out.
Fifty cents for a one-cent stamp.

A stuffed animal busking.

Now I know how saying
goodbye makes a pocket
of lint get up and swagger.


Coffee at the side—true,
we’ve been called “talky.”

This month, a wild
undertone of honking, settling
temporary fields. Eyes
closing before our eyes.


The desire to invent removed
from any particular necessity.

Did one of our telephones hum?
I don’t imagine
an audience,
more like a classroom and our
rules part of it.

Answer like you already know the question.
The “student body” trades limbs.


Being up there eating
made paper get its jaws on
my wrist again. At least it’s something.


The woman spends the afternoon
polishing silver between customers.

For all the crooked blues
between here and there
to reach for one another in
the next few thousand or so.

Want to read more Don’t You Have a Map? Follow the trail back to previous parts, see the current list of all parts, or contact J and E with any offers of future hosting space.

1 Response to “Don't You Have a Map? Part 11”

  1. 1 Don’t You Have a Map?: an interview with poets Erika Howsare and Jen Tynes at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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