Having a broad range of very powerful responses to Michel Leiris’ Manhood. Want to spend a lot of time re-reading and thinking about him this summer. (Also Genet, who seems to be provoking a lot of imaginations, simultaneously, here in the Deepest South.)
Writing in this mundane and autobiographical way feels very weird. It’s been such a long time since I’ve written anything here that wasn’t pulled directly from another source.
I think I am working on a long-form lyric storypoem right now. A love triangle and an intrusive Narrator who keeps ducking in and out of the story. A meditation on the limits of memory and language.
I am not writing much though. Tremendous amount of work at the end of the year. I am disappointed I am still not able to leave off “responsibilities” in favor of the real work, the work that brings me joy. I am still too much of an oldest child: officious, solicitous, pushy and decisive, managerial.
Soccer Captain and I are headed to Mexico after I am finished with finals. I need to nap in a hammock and eat fish and drink beer and read the New Yorker for a week. The first deep twinges of isolation and loneliness in this town.
I am waist-deep in a period of intense dreaming (I dream vividly and continuously or not at all)–in this dream sequence, I am not the eyes or the brain. I am not the self. The person who navigates through, stars in and fords through my dreams is someone else.
(This has never happened before.)
The self as an exhausted form.
“The day before she died mother asked to speak with me alone. Do you remember? And she told me she knew we’d always be safe with you, because once, when she’d asked you to, you’d given up the thing that you wanted most.”
I am tired of being accused of lack of seriousness when I feel
The need to use wingdings as stitches in my poems. I am telling you:
I sue for the following to become compliments: “Gimmicky” “Embellished”
“Fancy” “Slight” “Decorative” “Frivolous” “Labored” “Fontish” “Ornate.”
I am saying: To align * poetry * and * needle-art * is to say: I am among
Those historically not taught to read. I subpoena the 16th-C. “Emblem
Books” whose each page shows an image (a “devise”), a motto, then verses.
Rosemary Freeman’s book (821.00915F877c) prints an example of one
Of the images worked in embroidery, showing that, while only the men
In the household would likely have been able to read the motto and verse,
The women used the volumes too. When writing mimics thread, you get
Before you read, work perceptible as: “Beautiful” “Meaningful” “Expressive”
“Heartbreaking.” I assert, after Philomel: Cut out my tongue and I will weave
My indictment…but…Stop There. Otherwise the next thing is:
Cut off my hands and I turn into a nightingale forced, suffering (my shame)
To “sing” for the gratification of Shelley, Keats, et al. That adulation
Means a victory for the spear side (opposite the distaff side).
Instead, I tell history: “Go back!” I call on the ancient association
Of Peace-Weavers. At least let me decide on my own bird, choose
A stitcher of horizons, a life between linnet and linen.
AWP was incredible and I never want to see anyone again.
“I do not give anymore,” said Walter B., “a fig about you.” “Are
you sure?” asked Beatrice. “Absolutely,” said Walter B. “Not a
fig?” asked Beatrice. “Not a fig,” said Walter B. “Promise?”
asked Beatrice. “Promise,” said Walter B. “When do you
suppose,” asked Beatrice, “you will give about me a fig again?”
Walter B. looked up at the sky. “Probably not for many years,”
said Walter B. “Oh,” said Beatrice. “Should I wait?” “Of
course,” said Walter B., “you should wait.” “I’d be very happy,”
said Beatrice, “if you joined me while I waited.” Walter B.
squeezed her hand. “One day,” said Walter B., “I will make for
you a sewing of all the figs I never gave about you.” And one
day Walter B. would. He would sew all the figs together. It
would not be easy, but he would do it. If he could promise
Beatrice anything he could promise her this. He would make for
Beatrice a perfect sewing of all the figs he never gave about her.
She could wear it, thought Walter B., like a gown. And
everyone would applaud.
Sabrina Orah Mark