stri·gose (ˈstrīˌgōs), adj. [Mod. L. strigosus < L. striga, a furrow], 1. in botany, having stiff hairs or bristles, as some leaves. 2. in zoology, having fine, close-set grooves or streaks. 3. finely grooved or furrowed.
This woman makes nests.
She said: Imagine an impossible book and body as they realize themselves.
She said: my mouth: a living altar space, a living nest.
This woman makes nests out of earth and fills them with words.
She said: I am interested in the muscle memory of the book, the logic stored beneath the sentence.
This woman makes nests that are no longer a part of the book but inseparable from the book.
She said: vessels, chambers, a gathering of something.
She said: Please climb with me into under the sentence.
This woman weaves threads.
She said: I’m working with time, with the moment, with breath, with song, with the thread.
This woman weaves threads through people.
She said: There were no people—everyone was inside. So I was weaving saguaros and lizards.
This woman weaves threads through people and earth and the spaces she moves within.
She said: What is aggressive about a thread lying on the floor?
This woman weaves threads of storysong, songstory into now.
She said: A song a woman sings from hurt is called a pulling…How can I respond except crying in a tone no one cares for?
This woman arranged a courtship.
She said: P and S are pushing at the edge of their relationship.
This woman arranged a courtship, one between the page and the screen.
She said: They share text’s fleshy network.
This woman arranged a courtship, affirming each party in what they had to offer.
She said: Pale, pole, pawl have the same root as page.
This woman arranged a courtship: one of the pair she held up to be seen, the other she sent spinning in motion.
This woman layered a landscape.
She said: So we are all caught hanging: the rope inside us, the tree inside us.
This woman layered a landscape of word and image.
She said: The hearts of my brothers are broken.
This woman layered a landscape in black and white and then blue and green and red.
She said: And you are not the guy but you fit the description. And there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description.
This woman layered a landscape, opaque and reflecting.
She said: It was a place to begin to look at what is seen and at perception. It’s deeper than the image and yet it is the image.
These women ask the body.
She said: If a woman in a forest recalls a woman in bed.
These women ask the body to remember, to recall, to reiterate.
She said: If a woman in bed recalls a woman driving.
These women ask the body and the body answers in a curved spine, in sitting upright, in staring out, in.
Are you cooking?
Are you driving?
Are you in the car?
Are you on the phone?
On where writing begins, she said: The jaw. There’s a kind of will in the jaw: it has to do with desire, maybe it has to do with speech and a desire to say something.
She said: It begins in the space in the spine, reflexive knowledge.
Author Note: I wrote this reflection over the course of attending the Poetry Off The Page Symposium at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. The women, in order of appearance, are: Danielle Vogel, Cecilia Vicuña, Amaranth Borsuk, Claudia Rankine, Julie Carr & K.J. Holmes.