Stephanie Anderson: Assay 1

Fall '13 TOC

"I have never known when I have been really sick."

—Joanne Kyger, from Strange Big Moon

These are uncertain matters.

I missed in November.

I'm in a state.

The impervious river.

Way over yonder in the minor key.

I'm in Mordor when I'm with you.

I suspect that I torque the misheard lyrics to be about illness, or out-of-controlness, or both.

The last time I remember faking sick to get out of school, I was a high school sophomore. We'd been given a pop quiz on Huck Finn the day before, and I hadn't finished the book. I was so mortified. I stayed in bed all day to read it. It was a kind of illness.

I don't know what I can't save you from.

The world, green.

I'm so bad moody.

Traveling, changing climes. To get into a different state.

For her, the temporality of illness is like the temporality of reading. Not asleep but not totally embodied. Or trying to relieve embodiment. Is this part of the impulse to write?

She doesn't know that she knows illness at all.

I feel guilty when ill. I'm in a state. Especially if the signs aren't evident. Like it's all a matter of will.

Her mother must have cared for her when she was sick, and she was so often sick. Why can't she remember?

Reading aloud after she had her tonsils out, despite the roughness. The burn at the back of the throat.

The fantasy, when overwhelmed: she lies in a hospital bed. Cared for.

Feeling green.

Feel angry.

Way over yonder in the monarchy.

The mishearing. Which is it.

I heard alchemy.



Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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