today the news
I have been possible
and for all
I who can’t fight
even name it
that’s how it has to feel
or I have thought so
I have thought
out of the light
comes what I think
and what I think
love you (Rachelle Toarmino, “What Kind of Love is That”)
[…] The movements of judgement, of racism, are too urgent, too forceful, too violent. Dare I/we go on? Ohm shares that we must. Lastly, in “Apologies…” Ohm’s list of revisions / revised thoughts—emphasis on #11 and #12—inspired by T.S. Eliot moves through a constant state of stability within instability, something that I think about a lot within my own life and writing. “The rock which forms in your throat when you look at one’s back.” Is this “love,” always in flux? I agree with Ohm’s notes that I may also never grasp what poetry is, but it is that searching for meaning, that processing, that allows for poetic conversations, musical dialogues of care, very much present in this volume. The task at hand, or at body, is to put as much work into our actions, our ethics, our lifestyles as we do in our artistic creations.
Z [Zack Brown]: Agreed! The pieces in this volume, each in their own way, work at the fulcrum between language and body, which shows (to circle back to the beginning of our discussion) that political life and poetic life are perhaps not the same, but nonetheless forcibly entangled. What we do with our bodies is guided by our language. […]
One of the first pieces in the journal to jump out at me was the ten-part sequence “An Elegy for Unsaid Things,” by Nathan Alexander Moore, a recent SUNY-Buffalo graduate currently pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Texas. The fourth poem in the sequence reads:
What does it mean to be moved?
To run from the present?
To move toward uncharted geography?
To pack your life into parts,
Leaving behind big & small moments,
Dumping all your desires & detritus into boxes
Affixed with the promise of packing tape?
To remember to not say goodbye?
To know you will fade into a barely realized recollection?
To get into a car & refuse to hold (back) your tears?
To wonder if the future even exists
As you watch the present crumble
Into a fine point in the rearview mirror?
To ponder how you will get to the other side of the horizon?
I am also very taken with (and amused by) Vietnamese American writer and artist Aimée Lê’s selection of prose poems, such as the piece “WHY AM I ALWAYS FALLING OFF A CLIFF?” that opens: “Why did I think if you missed a meal, you might die? I asked, ‘When you’re diabetic and you miss a meal, do you, like, die?’ Notice I only said that after the banana was secured in your jaw. I am very brave. I don’t like to be a cause of panic. I walk very calmly out the door and then break into a run. I didn’t used to run during the day because I was scared that the drivers of cars would see me trying too hard. Why do all these insects, flower petals and ash keep sticking to me? Do they think I am an altar?” I clearly need to read more work by both of these authors. Award-winning poet Julianne Nealy, author of chapbooks through Slope Editions and Garden Door Press, includes this note at the end of her poem “Miracle”: “After learning of the theme—MOVEMENT—I was interested in learning about what it takes in our bodies to actually make a movement occur. What I quickly learned through an overwhelming amount of dense and abstract scientific language, that is a miracle our bodies move at all. This is the meditation on that, that follows.” Her poem includes:
Side of muscles acting on
Or without bending of
Articulation allows for
The ulna into contact with a
Type of a circle it laterally
Circumduction is suddenly
Movement that take place
Contraction or thigh either the
That help to stick out
the limb laterally
Away from side
Produced by the limb
Causes the opposing movement such
Synovial joint returning
the neck or elbow
Allow the elbow knee
Joint gives the ball and
involves a joint
Allows the coronal
Determined by combination
Than eversion of inversion is extension
Structural type while
adduction and gives
The summation of movements identify
And so on, moving at quite a pace for a number of pages. While it would be entirely possible to move through the whole issue, suffice it to say that this is worth picking up. You should probably pick up a copy. Why haven’t you picked up a copy?