AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The Supreme Court ruled this week that, with the exception of some emergencies, the police cannot search a cell phone without a warrant during an arrest. To put a literary spin on this news, we turn to poet Craig Morgan Teicher. Here he is for our series This Week's Must Read.
CRAIG MORGAN TEICHER, BYLINE: Privacy friends cheered. The police weren't so psyched. But the justices ruled unanimously. Our devices with our texts, our photos, our scribbles stay private. We can hide in plain sight. This isn't a new idea. The confessional poets have been doing it for decades. Instead of keeping their secrets, they turn them into performance. My favorite of these is a book-length poem by A.R. Ammons. It's called "Tape for the Turn of the Year." He wrote it on a roll of adding machine paper, kind of like Jack Kerouac's famous "On the Road" scroll, only skinnier. At the time, he was full of anxiety and anticipation. (Reading) I'm waiting to hear if Cornell will give me a job, he writes. (Reading) I need to work and maybe I write too much.
He also mixes in what he sees out his window - the touched, tasted, heard, seen, he says. Plus all sorts of silly musings - swing your partner, promenade, he tells us. And he describes the tape he writes on - how it coils again on the floor into the unity of its conflicts. Ammons shows us his actual mind. It's crabby, overexcited, scared and endlessly curious. This book doesn't contain evidence of illicit drug deals or gang memberships like the most scintillating smart phones, but it's more than most of us would show a stranger. It offers up what we always hide - the fabric of our innermost thoughts. That's something no warrant can uncover, nor any ruling protect.
CORNISH: The book is "Tape for the Turn of the Year" by A.R. Ammons. It was recommended by Craig Morgan Teicher. His latest book is called "To Keep Love Blurry."
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