Northwest Arkansas writer Thomas Merritt has published a book of poems called Some Words.
Because Merritt is a graphic artist as well as a writer, his book is designed as a work of art as well as a collection of poems.
The poems are short, each contained on one page. For most, the facing page contains a relevant image. For example, the photo of a hand-lettered cassette tape appears opposite the poem titled “My Life in Rewind.” In the limited edition, some of the facing pages are embellished by a stamped image in red ink.
The poems in Some Words are not what readers of my generation think of when we hear the word “poetry.” They progress in narrow lines down the page in fragments that reflect the disconnected way in which we think in our recollections and first impressions. Merritt plays with the words, sometimes stretching them out with spaces, sometimes separating each letter in a word with periods or parentheses. The technique causes the reader to question everything and to reread in search of elusive meanings.
Much of the content of Some Words is drawn from Merritt’s year of traveling across the country:
i have been
coast to coast
and back again
in less than
calendar –from “mother (ocean),” Some Words by Thomas Merritt