Wednesday, March 31, 2010

just can't get enough

Elisa Gabbert is talking about clich├ęs in a sort of follow-up post to her discussion of poetry moves. Thinking about cliches and the notion of something being overused made me think about how much I love repetition and abundance and frequency in poems. For instance, I love all of the dashes in Dickinson's poetry, and I especially love the way they look in the handwritten fascicles. Despite their indication of pause, they also mark a sort of frequency. This obviously has to do with rhythm, but there is a quickening sort of breathlessness there too. It reminds me of a sewing machine stitch following the rhythms of a shape, and how with electric machines there is a sort of stitching acceleration that articulates the speed of the cloth moving under the needle. I think this is one of the reasons Jen Bervin's work with Dickinson and textiles makes so much sense to me. I love that.

Anyway, here are some things I am obsessed with/compulsively drawn to, both in my own poems/projects and in the work of others:

*gears, particularly clock gears
*needles, pins, scissors, thread, spools, and other sewing-related items
*letters, glyphs, stems, alphabets, prints, printing
*bodies and body parts, particularly female bodies
*clothing, especially skirts
*words with the letter combination "ov": "oven," "coven," "covet," "ova" get the idea
*animals & birds & insects, particularly animal-made habitats like hives and nests
*shiny things like glitter and sequins
*machines and factories
*tiny things, miniatures
*chemicals and pharmaceuticals
*houses, wallpaper, domestic interiors

More later.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Things have been difficult to talk about. Like talking underwater or trying to talk during sleep. These are the metaphors that come to me over and over again. My mind is underwater; it's in a fish tank, water artificially blue and antiseptic. All I want to say, over and over again is I'm sorry. The refrain I cling to when I'm afraid. I'm sorry for being afraid. At night, narcotic waves of salt washing over me, the bed is a giant cradle rock rock rocking on jagged swirls. On the mri, there was a wash of black, blooming out of the vertebrae, like ink releases from a squid. See there -- how your nerve disappears? I nodded, not knowing what I was looking at but feeling it light up neon red and electric. The best cure is distraction -- distractions of love, making ready, celebration. This is what makes the body numb. The combination of champagne and vicodin and I'm saying things like you could cut me and I wouldn't feel it or care. And then there was a needle the length of my forearm (from finger tip to elbow) and the nudging in of the needle, and the x-ray pictures (I've never been so photographed) and then sitting up, the world yellowing and all the sounds swelling up and I've fainted sitting up. It's called vasovagal syncope. It's the oldest nerve in the body, I'm told. It bypasses the cerebral cortex and goes right to your gut. It felt like stepping off the side of a cliff -- yellow and silent-- and I'm in the paper hospital dress reaching my hand out into the air, unable to make a fist.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

on Happiness

For awhile now, we tried
so hard. They write books
about slipping down, slip-ups
derailed, catch-as-catch can
and then the sun coming up:
things we thought were missing
were always there. We're
so lucky that way. So lucky
that it doesn't make sense.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

is this real?