"With a Petroleum Coating" by Trace Peterson

With a Petroleum Coating – Poetry Exegesis


Yesterday the poem of the day from poets.org was “With a Petroleum Coating” by Trace Peterson. The daily newsletter is fantastic, it has the poem, a recording of the poem, a blurb from the author about the inspiration from the poem
(sometimes), a blurb about the author, other things the poet has written, and related works by other poets.

When I see a poem I like from poem of the day I leave it in my inbox until I can properly digest it. Sometimes I open up the email again and realize, I am done digesting the poem. Not the case here. Every time I start reading it … “The exoskeleton dries by the radiator” I am drawn in. It reminds me of Cyclonopedia. Am I going to be reading some theory fiction poetry? Sort of. This poem is a world building poem.

Why do I like this poem, because it makes sense but doesn’t make sense. The world that it is creating, with shells that hear poems, console knobs covered in petroleum, sitting lax on a conveyor belt, thinner than a mobius strip, a real world rug fur inside and out – is a world I can almost taste. The format of the poem, questions and sentences, a response to a class reading, or a debate among friends. There is rhythm, there is movement, there is eros, there is a language creation. And I mean what is Petroleum Coating? nsfw.