Follow the poem’s dictation

Last time I cut out a page from a book was from Bukowski, don’t worry, I framed it.

This is the second time, when the cut-out page formed into a box. I simply did what the poet asked.

There is something about “dictate” — simply requires no thinking, rather doing. I did.

Cut along the dotted lines.

— amy sara carroll in “activation instructions // untitled 3d poem”

remove the poem from the book and the page.

— AMY SARA CARROLL IN “ACTIVATION INSTRUCTIONS // UNTITLED 3D POEM”

Plenty of poems begin with imperative sentences, to address the reader, to address the predator, to address the writer him or herself; this one made me move.

Poems perch on papers.

cut-out 2D world is getting ready to be more cubical, in my hands.

fill the poem-box with other poems, paperclips, coquinas, raindrops, particulate matter.

— AMY SARA CARROLL IN “ACTIVATION INSTRUCTIONS // UNTITLED 3D POEM”

Done. The last move is to pass the box on to “a stranger”, “to the love of your life”, “to your sworn enemy”, “to the person you know and don’t know each morning metro platform”. Question is, how many of your readers kept the box? Holding the delicate buildt soft box filled with precious things, waiting for “the love of your life” to appear, finally inherit it.

I filled them with “Cat’s Back” paperclips, as if the cat is waiting, on every paper it clips, for its owner to come back and dictate.

To dictate a cat, really?


“Activation Instructions // Untitled 3D Poem” by Amy Sara Carroll can be found in Anthology from Boston Review Allies.