amniotic it is spring / so you can come out now by Laura Kochman

Those lines are from a poem I wrote 6 years ago, the first thing I ever wrote that splashed out over the page. I wrote it to be a jerk, because it was for a class, and I knew my professor would hate it. At the time, I wasn't convinced by projective verse and white space, either, and then I was surprised by how excited I was to shape the page, to scatter the words like pollen and gather them into a thick layer at the bottom. Reading it back, I don't find it that exciting anymore, but it's funny to see how many self-discoveries I made because I wanted to write the thing that I wasn't supposed to write. How many decisions made in negation, against, in preposition. I have always liked the swinging door of the word "against"—which is anti-, pushing, but also the pairing of one long body next to another. Day four is hard.

performance piece by Laura Kochman

Last night I went to a few different First Friday art shows, several of which took place inside a converted warehouse, floor to floor, room to room. It was like walking through an experimental lit journal. There was a performance piece with pudding and pickles, a miniature wall that had not been built, a down vest pinned to the wall behind plexiglass.

It was hot and moist. One of the curators asked me what kind of artist I was, and I said a writer. I thought about the perfomances of self taking place all through the thick hallways, and that repeated ritual in places like this. Who are you? What art form? Can I say I have been practicing exfoliation? Pinned to the bathroom wall, exfoliating, behind a slab of glass.