This poem’s title visually suggests a decayed sign that forms a new word from its remnants “GorOak,” echoing Tom Phillips’ title for A Humument. This is a key strategy for the poem, which sends a wandering eye through a dilapidated trailer park where empty spaces and gaps are as much a part of the text as what is overtly stated. The interface is an overhead map of a trailer park, with links mapped as hotspots that a reader can click on to bring up tercets which depict vignettes and images of life in this desolate place.
What is “Gorgeous Oaks?” Is it a new empty lot (freshly cleared of oaks, of course) brimming with potential? Is it a fully occupied trailer park that becomes a community? Is it the deteriorated, nearly empty space we find in this poem— “GorOak?” Nelson’s poem thrives in these interstices.