The format of this poem came in such a rush and it had so many intentions. She wanted to push the limits associative capacity - what kinds of substitution, of confusion can yet be parsed? - to approximate the striated layers of memory like geography, fault lines interrupting and re-ordering the already tentative sense of reality and time interpreted by the multiplicity of selves we each house, to explore how would we go back and make it better even when we can't.
today and/or me
she writes and/or metaphors and/or manifests and/or resonates and/or circles and/or recycles and/or pulses and/or ebbs and/or vacillates back and/or forth between times and/or addresses
then and/or when this today-me (that is, I and/or she) breathes into and/or waits to know and/ or intuits and/or trowels and/or sifts for something true and/or writes about it and/or of them
and/or her and/or ourselves and/or her/our parts and/or these fragmentednesses and/or holds them out for display and/or validation and/or ridicule and/or for saying a thing out loud in case
it makes it real (which is to say that) when/then the she/we/now names these parts within the she/me/we/us that we see/find today, it is also naming it within the them/us from then/there
then/when now-she and/or et al writes and/or metaphors and/or et cetera’s those parts which new-me/she/we couldn’t have sensed and/or named and/or even recognized in the then/there
it actually et cetera’s those names back to little me and/or us who is probably staying up past her/our bedtime anyway hiding and/or listening so it provides an introduction at least and/or
plants some seeds in the then/there so et al has them when they/she/we need it and the royal we all know she/we will need every piece and/or part we & co. can get our collective hands on
every time and/or address that we/she/us find and/or breathe into and/or ad nauseam more
disowned and/or dissociated parts and/or selves more and more of them and/or we are then/
now unculled into existence and future me/we/she can etc all we have ad nauseamed to the then/there again (before) and when/then all those little usses grow up and/or in - who knows
how very whole future we might and/or be
who can tell what we might had/have been
Carrie Nassif (she/her) is a queer poet, photographer and psychologist with a private practice in the rural Midwest. Her chapbook, lithopaedion is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press. Other poetry can be found in Comstock Review, The Gravity of the Thing, Pomona Valley Review and Tupelo Quarterly; and in anthologies such as Slow Lightning: Impractical Poetry, Waves: A Confluence of Woman's Poetry with the AROHO Foundation, and forthcoming in Written There: The Community of Writers Poetry Review.
Carrie's Book Recommendation
I've been re-reading Forrest Gander's Twice Alive and marveling at the lush language on the surface, of the power in his asymmetrical revisitings of form and content, and the way absence, when placed in the foreground, creates so much positive space around the edges in my mind.