Tony Tost



from 1001 Sentences





Every successful sentence lessens one’s reliance on memory.

What we do we do because of what we didn’t.

Erotic silence.

Unimportant themes are thrust forward to protect the more important ones.

The sun is also in the wrong.

I am assured that this poem is actually myself or at least that part of me which demands always to be before the camera.

Sometimes freedom is found in the teeth of the ladder.

My career is distinguished by how shamelessly I judge my enemy (the reader).

I see everything in you.

The center of all ignorance is found to pulsate a few miles behind your eyes.






A sentence is a theater in which the speaker is the actor, the critic, the stage, and the scene.

One would have to read this poem very quickly for it to appear to be a single whole.

There is no single essential poetic problem.

A sentence I needed to write less than I needed to read.

Armchair poet.

The poem does not create emotion so much as describe it.

One need not be a child to respond emotionally to a description.

An attempt at humor (chalk line around the dead dog).

Helplessly sleeping.

A poem is one means of scratching an itch.





None of us were astonished by the palace.

The poem I am offering you is complete.

Counting the number of movements necessary to tie, and then untie, a knot.

I have made myself small like the spider.

One must dig for symmetry.

The sentence is the web and the fly I have caught with it.

Children are often stupid.

“Speech with and without thought is to be compared with the playing of a piece of music with and without thought.”

I took the jet ski less damaged.

Complexity awakes to be cured again.






I believe that the person before me is incapable of processing emotions silently.

In life it is rarely poems that are needed.

One cannot travel by faith.

Mood surrender.

He was so proud of the heights he attained that he carried his ladder around with him.

I was expecting this poem.

The opportunity of a poem is an opportunity for breathing.

The quiet lifting of emotional weights.

My interest in how this poem may be read in memory is similar to a painter’s interest in how physical distance affects the eye’s processing of color and shape.

The shaking of this paper is one accompaniment to understanding.