oems (Essential Poets series #299) (Paperback)
oems is a collection of thirty-six lipogrammatic poems composed entirely of flat words such as “sunrise” or “unconsciousness,” which contain no ascending or descending letters. Proceeding from the author’s lived experience of OCD, the book leans into obsessive-compulsive tendencies, attempting to exorcise them through overuse. In the spirit of rumination, these poems repeatedly circle one nagging question: namely, the matter of what remains after language has been sifted and sorted, sandpapered and planed. In chasing the frisson of a polished stanza, oems performs a personal reckoning with the pleasures of fixation, the virtues of sublimation, and the costs of erasure.
Matthew Tomkinson is a writer, composer, and doctoral candidate in Theatre STudies at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of For a Long Time, a chapbook out with Frog Hollow Press, and the coauthor of Archaic Torso of Gumby, an experimental short fiction collection out with Gordon Hill Press.