Where most poetry seeks contemplative quiet, as in Wordsworth’s emotion recollected in tranquility,” Diversion asks: What happens to poetry if one stops trying to block the incoming cacophony and instead embraces the multiple streams of data that bombard the contemporary thought process? What poetry comes from the multitude of channels ambient office radio, TVs at the gym, rampant social media alerts, eavesdropped conversations within crowds, 24-hour-news cycles, texts, telephone and voicemail, email pings that constantly interrupt the brain from cogent thought? The result is alternately dark and hilarious, straddling the line between aphorism and poetry and creating an atmospheric narrative through connections that form between seemingly unassociated lines. For better or worse, what used to be stream-of-consciousness is now stream-of-collective-unconsciousness.
George Murray is the author of five acclaimed books of poetry, one bestselling book of aphorisms, and two books for children. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.