Original poem reprinted online here: "Have a Good One [In the error]" by Anselm Berrigan
Originally read: April 6, 2013
More information about the Poet: Anselm Berrigan
After looking up this poem, I noticed that this is part of a series of poems that start with "Have A Good One." However, I'm not going to read the poem as one in a sequence -- I should though, but I'm thinking of that line where there is places that could be expanded on into a sequences (but not overly so) and where the poem can stand alone (but not be overly unique).
I think line break and white space makes this poem. For example, the left adjusted "In the error" sets up a definition like stance where the poem discusses what "In the error" means in contrast of having a good one.
The second line "thinking of non-intervention" is an interesting way of looking at errors, as in errors intervene in a straight path, and in the context of "having a good one" as a simple greeting that should cause someone to stop, but it's a non-intervention in the sense that if a greeting is said too much than the words doesn't stop anyone.
And so there's a sense of shifts in every line that could mean more, but since the shifts are too abrupt the meaning doesn't necessarily matter (non-intervention) rather the shifts in the poem do which is "non-response" -- "the wince." "the shrug" from the you no matter how hard the speaker tries to relate meaning.
This sentence shows how the breaks change the meaning but not necessarily the person:
In the era, thinking of you
will quit my job
in one year to get
more done, work harder
to insert myself into
the fragile extension
of space between us
to get something done.
The first line break "you / will quit my job" could be taken literally as the "you" who throughout the poem is "non-responsive" could take the job of the speaker who tries to get something down. Then there's the break of "get / more done, work harder." And then there's a thought that the speaker moving on.
But no, the line break again, "to insert myself into" draws the speaker back in to the situation and there's an acknowledgment of the situation being "fragile" (or at least "space between us) to get something done.
The last line, "In the ear / thinking after you" has somewhat of a tragic element because the speaker is thinking of the other, when, in fact, the speaker is the other for the you. It's not an epiphany or a realization to move on. It's just there -- that "fragile extension."