We are pleased to share TODD BARONS’s poetry for the second time in Installation Magazine, but you will notice that his Think contribution is rather different from previous issues.  A mediation on the completion of his recent book of poetry AS YET, published by Chax Press, Baron opens a portal inside his creative process and allows Installation a glimpse inside his working mind for a brief and precious moment.  As close to the artist’s process as one can get, we experience The Analytic Lyric like a movie- we are the audience and Baron is the projector.  His work functions cinematically in that he simultaneously filters experience with literary influence to create a collision of the visceral and the abstract.  Loaded with the weight of images, Baron’s prose lingers in the mind long after the last verse is read.

I like Carl Rakosi’s statement that “the poet lives for a symbol/ but the ordinary citizen is in constant danger of dying for one.”  The book’s entitled AS YET.  My tenth book in 25 years should have some periodicity between it and the wall. Some form of music.  That which is spoken and heard is made to live in the music.  The poems break that up into a sort of “transportation” “décor of light” “screams/like sudden rain”  “authenticity of doubt.”

Short poems have always reminded me of longer ones.  There’s the breadth (Creeley, Williams and Whitman), and the short scope (Dickinson, Neideker) of the American poet I’d really gotten to know.  Like a joke getting to the punch of it.  I love the “quick pulse” of immediacy and echo. But each poem moves forward towards film, music and lyrical tension.

There’s something more to say.  These are words and their subjects.  There is the fragmented nature of cohesion, of thought as expelled throughout the day.  Of work and the inability to focus or function.  The poems (I want) reduced to staccato equations.

Summer is spent not working or working while writing or grabbing a line here and/or there to be later reduced to gesture and music.  How can I sit long enough to write anything with child and work and that dog and house and car and taxes and the frame in which each utterance is weighed?



From here
The language sounds like anything.
(Falls to the floor, screams
The name aloud
Like sudden rain or
dogs across
The street. Next door,
Trimmed by someone other
Than the gate,
The hammer’s
Instead of playing


If one cell finished the next
If one cell sd something
Regarding sound. If one remarked
The trees
Are in season, too.
,AS IF I’m home
in the word “however”


The computer says
It looked
Like fun. the fairy sd
I live in this forest
What’s yr excuse?


How can I sit with a book for five, six, or seven years and understand that in this country at this time no one’s reading anything much anyway? As the book covers domestic periods later deployed as annulment, separation or definitive divorce just laying there on the couch wondering what was left outside this side of the window.  I’ve always written about household relations.  As George Oppen said of his work A Discrete Series, “each of which is empirically derived.” I mean, I have nothing else to see or say. I’m middle class.  I work for a living.


Poem (for Marianne Moore)

So, he who strongly feels


Stands from

upon himself



Reverts not

Form, but

To find as rather

Not to say


Poems start as I’m reading them.  The process: the writing of each thing, each conflagration, getting it down. What sort of narrative does it want?  “From here/ the language sounds like anything” and the sound of my own distress.  Do I take continuum and music as the base of refraction?  There’s something more to say. 

AS YET has no symbology.  It’s an imaginary song


Mine (for RD)

The planting of clover

& burning root & home

precisely AS IF

only a few notes

we think

of as process

document & stable

leaving instigating


against (What

ever it is) which

runs perception AS

IF (at all) that mattered

Or Of what

Could be


what could be the

Sound germinating

One would have to have12

A horn for that,

Or advent of

Intent, image of

Intent, precisely

Making sound


+ Therapy


I have been accused

Of being Direct, likeable

Posturing in an age of

Guttural negations

Cutting through what’s left

Of the table next to wine

And the keys left

Therein; aftermath

Of sudden downpour, cramps

Put me to sleep-the rest

Is rest




Were you looking for

An emegerency, or

Did you find one?

That’s the cause for

Anything but doubt, the DVD

In your hand speaks

Of vibrations, woods in

The woods, vibrations.

Is that what you want

To be remembered for

Musically, anyway?

Appealing to your

Common sense?




You’ve got me

Writing this down, now

Last night you’d left

Me in a pool of dreams—corny

But reality sank

Like an amber

Pistol, what-





Each letter expresses

Spontaneous combustion, maybe

Just maybe, the last dinner

you remember didn’t

agree with me, but what the


never stop talking, I

on the hand, hide

till it goes away




All pretty normal, let’s

Wait to see what happens,

Maybe nothing at all

Or a permanent basin

will fill the sand

next to your


Purchase your own copy of AS YET.

Excerpts from AS YET, Chax Press, Tuscon, AZ, 2013

Courtesy of the writer and Chax Press