Hayden's Ferry Review


JUST PULLED IN TO PORT: Trevor Ketner | Erode

A surprising take on the dance of continents, Trever Ketner's poem Erode is one you're not soon to forget. He is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2015, we're just happy we got to him first. 

Check out the interview between Kyle Bassett and Ketner below, then head over to The Dock for a fresh catch. 

Q: “Erode” seems to take on the whole of human history in such a compact, yet literally eroded poem in terms of format. Your decision to use three major points of reference - the Biblical beginning, the Greek mythos, and a tumultuous present-day - strike me as purposeful. I wonder how you came to choose these points, and if there is a greater significance to the idea that we whittle down history to fit our preconceived notions of the world? 

A: “Erode” is, or at least over time has become, a poem about histories, plural because I think there are multiple kinds of history. There are manifold personal and societal histories—family histories, relationship histories, histories of religion and science and cities, nations, civilizations, geological histories. I’ve lately been interested in the ways these histories can overlap and influence each other, build on or tear down each other so this poem and its allusions came out of that exploration a bit. I was raised in a religious household and studied philosophy and myth in college. There’s even a nod in the second stanza to Fitzgerald’s ending for The Great Gatsby. So much of what has gotten me to where I find myself today (an openly queer, nonreligious poet and writer) is about my intellectual history influencing my personal history. So in essence all of my histories bleed together at a certain point. In that bleeding though, some things often erode, find themselves wasting away or changed by time. There’s revisionism, there’s forgetfulness, there’s repression. It’s important to acknowledge that history qua history is not truth, but a constructed narrative that, as we find ourselves here standing at one end of it looking back at the other end, it becomes distorted in our looking, like the horizon always seen but escaping into the distance.