/ by Laura Kochman

I, uh, finally finished reading My Life yesterday. That's embarrassing. I'm a slow reader when it comes to poetry, but I'm usually not that slow. Winter break and driving to Missouri and coming back and my parents and sister visiting sort of slowed it up. I can see why my thesis advisor recommended it—personal, sentence-focused, image-based, anaphoric. My heart loves a book with a good heart beat. It was hard to digest all at once, though, even considering all the things that got in my way. It's not that long, page-wise, but very dense. I prefer to read poetry books all in one sitting, much like B likes to listen to whole albums. I'm interested in the whole of the thing. It bothers me when poets talk about reading other poets piecemeal, or out of order. I feel like there's a certain respect you pay to the writer and the way they used sequencing, at least the very first time you're reading the work. I'm also really big on following the rules, so.

My Life was like all the materials that make up a building, but not the building itself. Not a building as in a narrative, but as in a shape. I don't know. I like architecture. I think I like it because it follows the rules of reality, but sometimes you can look at it and wonder how it possibly follows the rules of reality.


[groin vaulting at Saint Denis Cathedral]