#TPQ5: ADAM TEDESCO

Graham Foust

I can’t think of another poet who so perfectly translates the noises of a human brain’s circuitry, with all its grounding issues, shorting out & shoddy insulation, into sonatas for that very instrument.

“In our arteries and eyes, a hundred lightbulbs
throb like drugs.”

– from “From a Finished Basement ”

Bernadette Mayer

As close to a mentor as I’ll probably ever have, I owe whatever linguistic prowess I’ve gained to her expansive example.

“And life looks like some malignant disease,
Viewed from the heights of reason
Which I don’t believe in”

– from “Midwinter Day”

Jennifer Nelson

Nelson’s poems offer with glowing tip both the phenomenological and theoretical point of searing critique, all in a way that makes me feel less alone in my loneliness.

“Everyone murders so everyone eats.
Empire is the only form of preservation

that polices its ritual predation
so the entrails explain the elites.”

– from “Here, Too”

Bei Dao

I may be tipping my pitches a bit when I tell you he’s one of my biggest influences.

“we had too much time
debating the implications of a bird flying
as we knocked down midnight’s door”

– from “Reqiuem”

Amie Zimmerman

She will say I’m biased, and I will remind her that I fell in love with her words before I knew who she was.

“As if the point of survival
Is human survival
As if the point of planting bulbs
Is the flower in the spring”

– from “Fruit”


Poet and video artist Adam Tedesco is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH, a journal of new poetics. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Conduit, Fence, jubilat, Laurel Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of several chapbooks, most recently Misrule (Ursus Americanus, 2019). His first full-length poetry collection, Mary Oliver, was recently published by Lithic Press.

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