Side A Visual Poetry: “bye, see you soon” by Jonathan Memmert

bye, see you soon

see you
soon maybe
before you know
it one of us will run a
cross each others paths
another day another night
time, is any of it guaranteed?
next time, old phrase built to last
the trick is not to let it get to you too
much as we exist in a work in progress
a sleight of hand each unfolding moment
pretty as we feel still diamonds in the rough
ipso facto being apart means you are still here
only crime we are thieves to the others absence
we rely on a mental sketch artist to adumbrate
burgled memory in suspect who lurks at the
crime scene to rob again bygone witness
i need your help to catch sight of a blur
of what i saw or thought i saw in you
bifurcated ocular in our brief views
draw me true try not to embellish
only as clear as my recollect
as time echoes our times
until next time and with
assistance from this
victim for your im-
pending arrest
maybe soon
see you,

Mini-interview with Jonathan Memmert

HFR: Can you share a moment that has shaped you as a writer (or continues to)?

JM: I’m currently pursuing my MFA in creative writing/poetry at The City College of New York and I am grateful for all the study & opportunity which the MFA program provides to an emerging writer like myself.

I am particularly appreciative of the poets David Groff & Michelle Valladares who are mentors to my writing development. I am highly appreciative to the encouragement of my writing by my wife and artist, Susan Miller; by friend and writer, Susanna Horng.

HFR: What are you reading?

JM: Terrance Hayes – American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Layli Long Soldier – WHEREAS

Sharon Olds – Odes and Balladz

Bob Kaufman – Golden Sardine

Forrest Gander – Twice Alive

Kaveh Akbar – Pilgrim Bell

Arun Kolatkar – Jejuri

Toni Morrison – Re-reading – The Bluest Eye

Diane DiPrima – Re-reading – Revolutionary Letters

Anton Shammas – Re-reading – Arabesques

HFR: Can you tell us what prompted “bye, see you soon”?

JM: I am fascinated by alternative form aspects in poetry that break the left margin standard poem stanza format.

I am inspired by the way the poets such as Layli Long Soldier and CAConrad utilize form alterations to accent the visual status of a poem, its content and its message delivery in their poetry. And there are many other poems I’ve seen from many other poets that operate in these alternative poem forms and format concepts which brings a uniqueness to their poems.

I’m also inspired by medieval Hebrew texts that use micrography to tell story/prayer in visual designs.

The title of my poem, “bye, see you soon” is a direct response inspired by the poem title “Hi, How Are You” by Robert Whitehead published in The Best American Poetry 2022.

HFR: What’s next? What are you working on?

JM: I am in the process of completing my MFA in June 2023.

I am working on a collection of my writings/poems that I hope will find publication in the future.

HFR: Take the floor. Be political. Be fanatical. Be anything. What do you want to share?

JM: I want a renewed focus on combatting climate change by all governments in all places on this planet.

I want women’s rights, gender preference rights, immigrant rights, and systemic racism with all its oppressions to be addressed, and to move forward with injustices brought to justice.

I want a newly envisioned—more just and more equal—world for all.

Jonathan Memmert is a writer and poet who resides in Manhattan and he is currently an MFA candidate at The City College of New York expected to graduate on June 2023. Jonathan’s poetry has been published in, Global City Review, 1455 Movable Type, Promethean Literary Journal, and on the WordshedNYC website. Jonathan has read his poetry at WordshedNYC literary events in New York City, CCNY MFA reading events, and at the annual New York Poetry Festival in New York City in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Jonathan still seeks and finds many encounters with wonder in the midst of adversity in this world.

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