Poem of the Week | May 08, 2008

This week’s poem is “More and Tinier” by Laura Kasischke, which originally appeared in TMR 30:1 (2007). Kasischke has published seven collections of poetry, including, most recently, Lilies Without, released with Ausable Press in 2007. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Ploughshares, the Iowa Review and elsehwere. The film adaptation of her novel The Life Before Her Eyes, starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood, was released on April 18. Kasischke teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

“I wrote the first of a number of semi-prose poems while possessed of an odd idea: that I was writing a kind of table, and also writing things to put on the table, so I could see both the table and the things. I decided that I wanted a sturdier poem than the ones I’d been writing-a poem like that table, but maybe more like a box strong enough to contain some facts, as well as dreams, but with some holes through which the dreams and facts could escape.”

More and tinier

A long green thread unraveled from a dress, picked up by the wind, caught
in the branch of a tree:

Not even my aging body belongs to me.

My heart made of strangeness and cells.  The sleeping salamander of my
spleen.  That miraculous, ancient needle threading a dress through a tree.
It is one kind of difficulty to be the thread.  Another to be the needle.
Hardest of all, the tree.

Every day, I become more and tinier.  Eat less.  Think before I speak.  On
Sunday, after sex, I remember the boats speeding across the water,
propelled wildly by the lightest breeze, their sails swollen with it, still
blowing on a summer Sunday through my memory.  Oh, those boats, this
is what they mean.