beach

the wound that cannot be seen by Laura Kochman

I finally finished Annie Liontas' Let Me Explain You, sort of quietly in the dark morning-time, which felt right, and now thinking of the wound that cannot be seen. And the act of always reaching toward it.

This week I have some time to myself, to do all of the things I put off, I hope. I bring you:

This interview I did with The Cloudy House
This review I wrote for PANK, of The Volta Book of Poets
These poems of mine at Yes Poetry

In this quiet in-between week, I'll see the beach for the first time in several years, and visit a friend that I miss so much, and sit and drink coffee looking out a window onto an empty square with an empty Word document in front of me. I'll meet an old friend and a new friend to talk about writing. I already rode my bike in the city for the first time, less scared than I had thought I would be, and we rode to the Schuylkill and out over the water on a concrete boardwalk, into a headwind. Another old friend is here in the city for a month. In general: trying to gather back the pieces of myself, and to remember how it feels to speak them. Writing more. Riding more.

One year in Philadelphia. by Laura Kochman

there is no document
of civilization that isn't also its ruins.

—Natalie Eilbert

 

Last night I dreamed that I went back to the Margate house, a thing I said I'd never do, and it was spliced and repainted, turned into a sort of house-hive with the other houses around it. All the windows were bright, and the decor was minimal. People swarmed in and through its doorways, talking loudly about how upscale the space had become, how clean, how large. I ran around it frantically, looking for traces of the old, dirty architecture. The only thing that stayed the same was the beach.

This morning B and I are sitting at a coffee shop around the corner, reading and working on a book review and chatting about Jane Jacobs and the possibility of reparations. It's nice to slip back into these modes that I am always fearing I am losing. I'm not. It comes back. The beach stays the same, underneath, though it shifts. One year in Philadelphia.

by Laura Kochman

A painter shows slides of her work. From the earliest to the most recent. Lights out. First slide: Do you see that figure there? That's my grandmother. Second slide: There she is in the corner. And there—there's my grandmother too. The one with her back to us. Yep, that's her again. In each painting she shows us where her grandmother is. That shadow there—it's my grandma's shadow. But one day my painting teacher said to me that I was putting my grandma into too many paintings. Next slide: A landscape. There is where my grandmother used to be. A cityscape. See up there. A seascape. Hi Grandma! A desert. The surface of the moon.

- Carole Maso

I'm not even going to tell you what kind of asinine comment this person wrote in the margin. Instead:

[ at the beach / the echo of that other beach / my mother's mother's mother looks at my mother's mother / and I in the future of the imagination look too / at my mother's face / (not pictured) / at my mother's face in her mother's face / because the body is always in the landscape ]

by Laura Kochman

Last night I dreamed that I was in a house on a beach with my mother, and a hurricane was coming. All the other houses on the beach were hit in the wind, each one a rhombus leaning, but our house was still. I was terrified. My mother had complete confidence in our safety. There was a troop of Girl Scouts outside the house, a Girl Scout Beach Patrol, and they were insanely cheerful. All the women around me smiling and laughing into the wind.