Code poems are something I don’t know much about, but as a creative writing teacher I probably should. I’ve been thinking for awhile about how subversive code poems are and can be, especially if the audience doesn’t know they’re reading a code poem—only the most intuitive reader would know to “show source” and expose the work in full, rather than the mere semiotics of surface. Would this be too exclusive? No. As Sean Michael Morris reminded me the other evening, a writer should have high expectations of their audience. What also interests me about code is its ineffable nature—code is performative; it is what it does, so any HTML tag, for example, is a mere description of an action, rather than a “word” in the common sense of what we know words to be. I have a new book of poetry coming out in February titled </war>, and the primary reason I chose this title was it’s unspeakable (and often unrepresentable) form—we could say “end war” or “close war” or any number of other variations, but still not capture the essence of the performance (which is generally why we fail so much as a society when talking about war).