The Craft Talk, by Rae Armantrout

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By Rae Armantrout, from the January/February 2015 issue of The Believer. Armantrout is the author of many collections of poems, including Itself, published by Wesleyan University Press in February.

So that the best thing you could do, it seemed, was climb inside the machine that was language and feel what it wanted or was capable of doing at any point, steering only occasionally.

The best thing was to let language speak its piece while standing inside it — not like a knight in armor exactly, not like a mascot in a chicken suit.

The best thing was to create in the reader or listener an uncertainty as to where the voice she heard was coming from so as to frighten her a little.

Why should I want to frighten her?

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