Chloe Yelena Miller and the Past, Present, and Future
The subject is the manipulation of verb tenses and thus time in poems. Two examples are given and analyzed. The first is William Blake's poem "The Tyger." The second is a poem by contemporary poet Chloe Yelena Miller, from her chapbook Unrest. (The poem is also reproduced by the blogger The Dressing at 2013 DC Shorts: Women Working without Words, but now back to the first blog post mentioned.)
Here is Miller's poem, followed by Kenneth Ronkowitz's commentary.
We met in Esperanto, declared: Mi amas vin.
Which means (in case I forget): I love you.
We swam in the Sardinian sea, the water as blank
as your conjugations. I wear one piece of my two piece:
I will, first person future,
label these photos in our language
without a national body. The word
for our actions is not a noun.
Gender neutral, were we
heterosexual? The flexible
syntax translucent, nudity's definition.
I could pronounce (phonetics): You.
There were rules: The accent
is always on the next to last syllable.
It was carnival, a meatless (almost meaty) masked
party. Lent followed, we gave up
each other (reflexively).
I like it right off that they met in Esperanto. Not a place, but a language, and a word that translates as "one who hopes." We could follow the thread of Esperanto's three tenses and three moods. Maybe your poem can work with the poetic and non-English jussive mood that is used for wishes and commands.
And her poem ends "reflexively" - a form that cause problems for English speakers learning a new language since this feature is practically absent in English. The literal reflexive means the agent is simultaneously the patient. That's grammar class talk meaning we do it to ourselves. How poetic is the reflexive: to enjoy oneself, hurt oneself, kill oneself, convince, deny or to encourage oneself.