in thought, / in afterthought; / swimming the one world deaf, waving, goodbye for motor / by Laura Kochman

I'm reading Jorie Graham for the first time, one of her first books, and even though the form of these poems (and some of the images) feel a little expected, a little like they're tapping into popular modes, I'm still enjoying it. Because sometimes a little spike of words and breakages rises up and surprises me, makes me reconsider. It feels like she's not entirely sure of her perspective yet, like even though this isn't her very first book, it still feels like it could be. I've tried to articulate this in conversation, what it means for a book to feel like a first book—not all first books feel like this, and some not-first books do. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the book, or learning something from it, or wanting to emulate something in it, but it's a thing that's noticeable, and it makes me want to read the next book or the one after. Not fully-formed, or fully self-conscious, maybe? The more I try to describe it, the more I feel like a jerk who can't have nice things. So here's a picture of my cat: