Moments of crisis – whether in the form of global disasters or more personal catastrophes – change our lives. Following a crisis, we question our values, change our habits, reflect on the past, and rethink the future. What better way to do this than through story? Stories are built around crises: events, big and small, that transform those who live through them, real or fictional, and challenge the way we see the world.
Frames get dusty;
books are musty;
when a player turns
the pages of a score
there’s this crusty sound.
What else? I’ve forgotten my Klingon.
I open my mouth. Light pours through the dark
jigsaw of organs: the wrists of small birds totter upright.
What did I put
In my suitcase starting out?
Old scars and clever tricks,
Social misery and emotional demons,
Vices and fairy tales
I am the worm in my woman’s head.
the worm in man’s writing.
the wormword or woman-man.
at the end of the day I was tired and wanted to not think
anymore and to not stare at anything anymore, just
maybe close my eyes and make out with someone but
there was no one to make out with, is this tragic or what;
When I am called to stand
and give account of things,
heart, do not tell the whole story.
Halfway through I was hungry and didn’t
notice when, in the last few lines the mood
shifted, and he mentioned love.
This skewed altitude
is a measure of hazards,
of hasty leaps
and bad timing.
Piano Camp was read by Sarah Gilbert as part of the storytelling series This Really Happened.
For me, it’s just a question of how to most fully and appropriately explore a particular observation or idea. Sometimes, for example, I’ll be working on a poem and find that it is actually the beginning of a story or even something that needs to get worked out with the help of outside sources, as with an academic paper. My approach in all cases is to follow the thread of an idea as best as I can according to the constraints of the form, all the while remaining, on the one hand, as open as possible to the connections and the diversions that necessarily arise, and, on the other, trying never to lose sight of the project’s inspiration or goal.