I have been thinking why I came to write a poem, and why this poem, now. How the feeling of abjection can change one’s perception of one’s body/physicality is something that I started exploring years back at college. It still informs a lot of my visual work and I guess that’s also what’s at the centre of that poem of mine. The images conceived of were not alien to me at all, but writing them down and trying to form something coherent in words, for its own sake, whether successfully or not, is new.
While I was lying on my bed this afternoon I came across a poem by Louise Glück who I hadn’t known about until I read a reference to her either on Mien’s or Erin’s blog and I realised I had been asking myself the wrong questions. There is a line in this poem (The Wild Iris) ‘…that which you fear, being a soul and unable to speak…’ which made it clearer to me. For several days after the Louise Bourgeois-exhibition I was physically too tired to make work, even something tiny, but, and that is relatively new and hooray hooray, part of my mind was working. You have to understand, deep fatigue does not only make the body tired, leaden, painful, but the mind is the same. You have times when all you can think is ‘I am soooo tired’ again and again and again, it’s all that exists, your whole being is overcome and consumed by this fatigue. Coherence is on holiday. You don’t want, you don’t wish, you don’t long for, you have nothing to say, you just are, and you are tired. And here is what is new, what is different: while my body didn’t function during these first days after the show parts of my brain did. I wanted. I wanted to express myself. I wanted to write. And I did, in small mouthfuls. Fatigue did not obliterate me completely. My health is improving. And that’s what I understood when I read Louise Glück’s poem today.