This is one of a series of poems that I am writing in seven-syllable segments. A limitation in the form can speak to me about how much I let myself perceive the limitations I inflict upon myself, versus those that are unavoidable in my life. By using a constraining form, I don't just write about limitation, I live inside limitation in the work and then see how I handle it. I experience limitation as event, not aftermath.
Ann Lauterbach points out that the “convergence of subject matter with form releases content.” The form of seven syllables per segment can cause a contentiousness in my use of syntax that forces me to diverge from my more expected trajectories of thought, and so it exposes a content with more contextual resources than I’d had access to.
Some Days Everyone Is Well Concealed
Some days everyone is well concealed by their assumptions.
Then maybe an ambulance siren. Too close. It squeezes
all of you together. As fear siphons off a little
more anonymity. So you turn in unison glad
for the others near you. Feel a communal breath taken
and released. The siren is a dormant virus again.
When you turn the corner. Walk a block. Here are five people
in line at the ATM so separately together—
requires a vigilance easy to mistake for calm.
Rusty Morrison is co-publisher of Omnidawn (www.omnidawn.com) & her five books include After Urgency (won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize) & the true keeps calm biding its story (won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award). Her recent Beyond the Chainlink was finalist for the NCIB Award & NCB Award). She is a recipient of a Civitella Ranieri fellowship and a recipient of other artist retreat fellowships. She’s currently a fellow, awarded by UC Berkeley Art Research Center’s Poetry & the Senses Program. She teaches and she gives writing consultations. Her website: www.rustymorrison.com
Rusty's Book Recommendations
authors/books i'm currently excited by:
ATLANTIC DRIFT: an Anthology of Poetry & Poetics
Cleopatra Mathis: AFTER THE BODY
Arthur Sze: SIGHT LINES
Kazim Ali: INQUISITION.
all may seem radically different from each other... but i feel it's important to read widely, and wildly.