Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aimless Reading: The R's, Part 17.1 (Lisa Robertson)

Debbie: An Epic
Robertson, Lisa
Debbie: An Epic


This was either sent by the author or by her publisher in advance of her visit to Just Buffalo many moons ago.You may notice creeping into my writing over the coming months more phrases like "many moons ago." If you haven't heard the news on Facebook, then you maybe interested to know that I and my family are leaving Buffalo after nearly fifteen years. We'll be moving to New Haven, Connecticut in mid-April, where I will be starting a new job at Yale.

I arrived in Buffalo to pursue an MA in Poetics in the summer of 1997. I intended to complete the degree in a year and then to move swiftly back to New York, where I had sublet my rent-stabilized apartment in the East Village. Before the year had ended, I decided that it might be nice to stick around and be among a great community of poets, living on borrowed money, spending my time reading, writing, and talking about poetry and poetics.

Even so, I thought I might be in Buffalo for five or six years at most. I think I always planned to return to New York, job or no, but something kept me here: love, a great job, a wonderful community of poets, cheap cost of living, etc. In short: Buffalo is a comfortable place to live.

Suddenly fifteen years have passed. I have a long-time partner (soon to be wife!), a newborn daughter, a mortgage, a car payment, medical expenses, a huge career change on the horizon, concern about our future.

And I find myself often brooding on the passage of time, how it seems to go faster and faster, especially as life becomes more dominated by routine, how the ways I experience time change also, like when I was a child my impatience led me often to feel that time was not passing quickly enough or on some days not at all or at the very least so slowly I could not perceive it with my senses, this compared to now when ten years can pass by with equal stealth applied in the opposite direction.

So forgive me if I spend a bit of time brooding, waxing nostalgic, glorifying or vilifying specific moments of my life. I am sure it will all settle down soon enough. Unless of course it doesn't.

from Debbie: An Epic

I SPEAK TO JUDGE CRIMES OF FILIATION
as hard sky spent cancelled horizon
my own mouth barking perhaps I am
unmentionable ticking against the
dark adjacency of prose lovely home
of gods and punctuation I say this
against the long and burning hills in the 
slatey cold of debt.




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