The (mostly) still video of a staircase over which the menu/submenu structure of the poem unfolds is a visual representation of the concept Jason Nelson is exploring with this poem. How can the poetic line be structured around the concept of interior menus and submenus? Does it correspond to a stanza, or are the relations less clearly defined? Jeremy Douglass used this structure to shape a narrative poem, elaborating on details within each subfolder, but Nelson’s structure is more exploratory in its use of submenus for lines.
For example, the combinations of lines are more paratactical than narrative yet are often held together by enjambment. At times the completion of sentences, ideas, trains of thought are deferred by placing them into the submenus. Other times, the submenus offer new branches in the “tree” that lead to new branches, and lead to incursions (or digressions) away from a single line of thought. In these moments, the structure leads to notions of multiplicity and simultaneity of thought, in a tradition deeply explored by Jim Rosenberg. When menus are overlaid they create new line juxtapositions, new arrangements of ideas, new enjambments.
If the combinations are too overwhelming, move the pointer away from the submenus, allow them to fade, and start a new exploration into this richly layered poem.