[identity profile] two-grey-rooms.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] scrapofpaper
"In one of your poems, you wrote about seeing a moose appear in the road. I loved that poem for being so looming, so Canadian. When I returned from the doctor's office today I went straight home and looked for that poem, for the line I had forgotten and needed to see again to believe it was real:

"Why, why do we feel (we all feel) this sweet sensation of joy?

"I know why, but only briefly. Then it disappears and I am left with my same old misunderstanding. I am left to my television, my websites, my class of eighth graders studying earth science. And Elizabeth, I am left wanting to see that moose.

"I want to witness this animal you described as towering, as high as a church. I would crawl off the bus and leave all the passengers behind--even you, my dear Elizabeth--and reach for the moose and her great antlerless head. I would take my time, grand and otherworldly, and when I turned around again it would be your face peering back at me from the bus window.

"You make me remember myself: a young girl sitting on a bus, traveling somewhere, anywhere, with her own reflection hovering in the darkness outside."
--Laura Maylene Walter, "To Elizabeth Bishop, with Love"


"Write about an Empty Birdcage"
Write about an empty birdcage. As in: write about your ribcage after
robbery. Use negative space to wind a song from the place on the
dresser where a music box isn't. Write about the corners where the two
of you used to meet. Draw the intersections, arrow to the sidewalk
where her shoes aren't near yours. Write about

an empty birdcage. As in: write about a hinged-open
jaw that is neither sigh nor scream. Use this to signify
EXIT. Make sure to describe the teeth, the glint of
metal deep down in the molars, the smell of breath after lack of
water. Make sure to draw this mouth a thirsty and human portrait of
what it means to be used up. Write about voice by writing

about how it feels when it's painful to swallow. If you must put noise
in the scene
make it the sound of bird wings flapping in a cardboard box. Show us
an empty cage and give us the sound of confinement. Take hope and fold
it small as seed, then suck on it. Slow and selfish. Write about an
empty birdcage. Birdcage can read: building, structure, abandoned or
adorned. As in:

loop and tighten a vine of nostalgia around the room
you currently brick yourself into. Recreate the sweet of jasmine, but
mortar the door so it will not seep through. Write about an empty
birdcage. Replay us the scene. As in: she presses her pale cheek
against the window, as he turns his pinstriped back, slow and final.
Again. She presses her pale cheek against the window, and he turns
his pinstriped back, slow and

final. Again. She presses her pale
cheek against the window, as he turns his pinstriped back, slow and
final. Again. She presses her her pale cheek against the window,
as he turns his pinstriped back, slow and final.
Write about an empty birdcage. Write about the hinges.
Describe them as dry knuckles. Write

how I became a moan.
--Elaina M. Ellis

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November 2015

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