reading

Shaping water as with words

With the Oscars this Sunday, I thought it would be fitting to muse about The Shape of Water.

My immediate thoughts were conflicted: gorgeous, yes, lyrical, yes, but it also felt too closed. Like a perfect circle that doesn’t hold a mirror to anything we could ever experience. 

Argue fantasy and fairy tales, and that’s true with this film, but I am a constant critic.

Why escape to the 1950’s? Who is nostalgic and warm and safe here? I’ve grown uncomfortable in these clothes, these roles. 

On the other hand, I loved that it ended with a poem, one which left me thinking, Wait, who wrote that?

"Unable to perceive the shape of you,
I find you all around me.
Your presence fills my eyes with your love,
It humbles my heart,
For you are everywhere.”

The state of poetry is thriving. Online it’s easy to find vibrant debate, dissection, and dedication to a craft that is (truly) old as dirt. And I love it. 

Just asking the question “who” can open a discussion and wealth of new knowledge for novice poetry readers.

I immediately searched online, trying to find who wrote the poem at the end of The Shape of Water. While I didn’t find any definitive answers per say, what I did unearth was a forum full of discussions over this very topic. 

Some suggested the poet was Saint Symeon. Others were adamant it was Rumi. (And at first their enthusiasm and confidence convinced me the most.) Others mentioned poetic origins hailing from different worldly corners and traditions, from Islam to Greek mythology. And others thought it was original, a poem written by del Toro himself.

I think it's special that a poem spoke to so many, and in a film with that massive of an audience. The poetic tradition is full of different lineages and the concluding poem in The Shape of Water speaks to that layered, interwoven identity.

When I write, I also feel like I'm making shapes. Language is so malleable, both soft like clay and hard like brick. It can become so much and soak up what you let it soak. The shape of words isn't so singular as it is possibilities—an infinite polyphony, as water also flows into whatever contains it.

 

antici. . . . . . . pation

ah, 'tis the season for spooks, costumes, and submissions. Feels good to polish some new-ish poems and send them out into the world—these 4 in particular have origins as far back as January. So you could say I’ve been nursing these babies for a while now… I’ll update responses as I hear back; here’s hoping one (or two or) find a lit mag home for the winter!

*well secluded. . . I see all ( )___( )*

*well secluded. . . I see all ( )___( )*

I don’t think I’ve watched RHPS as much as I have these past couple of months in NY, and surprisingly I’m still not completely Rocky-Horrored out? ?? My love for it is… astounding, to say the least. I dressed up as Magenta for Halloween this year because (1) broke, (2) never have, and (3) eternal fandom. 

Also, I got a new job at a local gluten-free bakery and I’m beyond grateful. Everything is so warm there, it’s such a nice change of pace and letting go of toxic pasts. I’m sure the holiday season will be intense, but I’m excited to finally celebrate my first Friendsgiving in the city <3 

autumn in NY // Michael Wiegers speaking @ C.D. Wright Tribute, CUNY Graduate Center, 10.19.16

autumn in NY // Michael Wiegers speaking @ C.D. Wright Tribute, CUNY Graduate Center, 10.19.16

With my fall/winter poetry submissions out circulating, I’m setting my sights on completing other projects previously put on hold. Completion is key and I need to slow down my brain and all its constant churning of new ideas and just finish what I’ve started. Lord knows I’m going to have plenty of time to hibernate and write this winter, both in the bakery and at the apartment. Rly hope I survive my first NYC winter (!!)

A Second Spring

Super excited to announce my poem "How Must All God's Creatures Align in Lieu of God?" is forthcoming in the fall issue of The Lost Country. Stay tuned to view the published piece via the magazine website very soon. (Expected publication date mid/late October.)

Also stoked to read at this year's Gaines Street Fest in Tallahassee, FL. I'll be reading some of my own work (maybe some newer stuff in progress) as well as new and old favorites. Come check it out--> Saturday, November 7 at the corner of Gaines St. & Railroad Ave.

Really diggin' how The Memory Depot project is going with Max. Something's brewin'--a virtual performance, fever dreams, deep dark thoughts about customers, all of the above...

So far I've applied for 7 internships, everywhere from Portland, OR to Brooklyn, NY. The waiting game is the absolute worst and there are still so many more applications to be sent... Hoping the next couple months fly by without too much anxiety.