Sunday Poems XVIII

Today I want to share a link to a recent Chelsea Hodson interview (if you haven’t read her “Pity The Animal”, read it) of Jarett Kobek (if you haven’t read his “ATTA”, read it) on Lithub. The interview is titled THE NOVEL IS DEAD, CELEBRITY IS A DISEASE, AND MORE!. The subtitle is JARETT KOBEK REALLY DOES HATE THE INTERNET. I feel like either of those lines would look good printed on a t-shirt.

“I avoid Twitter like a plague pit!” (another good t-shirt) says Kobek when Hodson brings up his appearing to have noticed a tweet of hers. “Someone told me about your tweet!” (ditto) is his excuse. I feel like I would enjoy my relationship with twitter more if it were mediated by people telling me about twitter rather than engaging directly with it.

To pick up my thread from a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the technology we choose to integrate with ourselves. What is ourselves? As a whole I percieve contemporary thought moving as far away from biological essentialism as possible. I like this. It also puts questions of “what we are” in increasingly perilous positions. How much of myself would be left if twitter were ripped away from me? We think about technology a lot in terms of physical things. We are used to the integration of persons and technology being more obviously physical in our fiction and indeed in our medical technology, a cyberpunk tube in the back of the neck, or a pacemaker nestled to the heart. However, we can still be connected when the wires are invisible. An invisible lifeline is still a lifeline.

Sundays are sometimes for sitting in a coffee shop. It’s less busy than expected. It was a nice day out and everyone’s doing outdoor things. It feels like spring. You’re trying to get work done. If you work in a certain way, it can be calming. Sometimes the self feels itself yanked out of its mooring when work is too intense, followed by a rest which is too calm. Contrast can kill; sometimes we would prefer to list between them by a gentler breeze. As always, below is a poem. Read it to yourself. Read it to a friend. Feel is on your tongue. If you need to talk about it, I’m here to talk. If you decide you’d like to write your own poem, I’m here to read it. I hope you have a great week.


breeze

i)

your chest is reaching out
on a windy day
and nothing seems to quiet down
the health of the breeze.

the windchime
is nearly blown off
its hanging!

maybe the sun
is overhead
because the clouds
are just under it
because i am
below them
standing
on the balcony
looking up.

we stand for
quite a while

looking up
your hair is waving semaphore

what else is there to look at
until our necks won’t move.

something else.

maybe the way the wind blows
is normal
for the wind.

maybe the way
we pull ourselves back
from the edge
is normal.

it’s normal
to hope and maybe
to fall
upward

maybe we can fall
upward

maybe
we can do it.

ii)

my finger
on your lips

on a sunday
the winds are quieter

you ask me
to look over

what you’ve been
working on

the stars glinting
i am a tree

you have always been
an actor

and you’re teaching me
to repair

what are the materials
of our repair?


This post was originally written on February 7, 2016 for Latitude 53, while I was their Writer in Residence.