This poem is mapped onto a nine tile sliding puzzle, the kind that traditionally has a single image that one can scramble or unscramble. The interface for this is the same, but Lewis throws a curve ball in this piece: every time the reader moves a tile— perhaps with the hope of completing the image— the image changes. One set of images is a photograph of Lewis himself, and another is a kind of map, suggesting that if we could complete it, we’d see him or where he’s from. But identity isn’t that simple to put together, particularly in the case of someone with such a diverse ethnic background as Lewis. Keep this idea in mind as you read the text as you attempt to complete the puzzle— will you get closure from this piece by completing the puzzle or is this denied much like easy answers about identity are to Lewis?
Explore more of this theme and his meaningful use of interfaces by clicking on the “Jason Lewis” tag below.
Featured in Poems That GO.