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​​David Greenspan’s "Error" uses intentional language error, fragmentation, the remixed text of Guy Debord and others, as well as capacious, nonlinear temporalities to "attempt"a space parallel to regular narrative progression. Error always only attempts. It mistakes and glitches in place of success; meanders and digresses in place of resolution. Despite this reshaping of language’s materiality, something adjacent to narrative still emerges. It cannot not emerge. Error, then, might be said to create through failure. A failure of childhood in Michigan’s crumbling palm. A failure of childhood with an auditory processing disorder. A failure of parental abuse. A failure of animal companion deaths. A failure of the afterlife of trauma, itself a failure of memory to stay memory. Greenspan conducts these failures, drawing them from stutter to sustained wail. Inside that wail, one hears the resonate tension between narrative and language uttered by Lyn Hejinian and Anne Carson. Error owes a debt to these composers, and others, like Shane McCrae and his looping, loping syntax. ee Cummings and his unlogos that “the thing perhaps is / to eat flowers and not to be afraid.” Error eats flowers – lips stained apple blossom, stained rhubarb – but rejects the call to be unafraid. Error fears, and in that fear finds “new hope / for rodents.” ​


David Greenspan is the author of One Person Holds So Much Silence (Driftwood Press) and the chapbook Nervous System with Dramamine (The Offending Adam). He's a lecturer in the Program in Technical Communication at the University of Michigan and a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi. His project, Milk Sickness is forthcoming by Querencia Press. Find him online at

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