Meg Ronan’s “The Obligatory Garnish Argument”

the obligatory garnish argument
by Meg Ronan
from Spring Gun Press

Meg Ronan sent this to me months ago, but when it arrived I was moving and it was packed up before I even knew what it was.

What it is is the obligatory garnish argument, which sounds like the best Guns n Roses album ever. Not that, though. Instead it is a book of little tiny word nuggets to rearrange your mindspace, like:

the obligatory garnish argument

this glob drought          requires
liberal sub-global oxygen garden policy
here, take all my cable knits

Which is writing I like a lot, lot, but me personally I cannot read many in one sitting even though they’re not long and the book is not long. (Are there patterns to these pieces? How were they composed?) But Ronan, smart, inserts what I take to be found text that plays with the “are you still reading this” trope of tl;dr patterns. That’s what this book is! It’s a question about reading. “If you’re still reading this you’re pretty serious about your car audio.” It’s a thing about endurance. It’s a question about beauty.

“Don’t read any further.” “Stop suffering.”

the obligatory garnish argument

born for this barging this constant charitable
luxury mirage        more serious shards please
change me for the ragged flora and the boredom

I don’t endure poems like that! I refresh myself with them. Poems like that hand me back the thoughts I had that I didn’t get. I like what Sandra Doller says in her blurb, “What happens when text is filtered through the meaning machine? What will stem the exhausting tide of linguistic proliferation?” This! Henry Miller referred to “the sieve through which my anarchy strains, resolves itself into words.”

Check it out.