Ago 3, 2014

Notes on Mary Ruefle's "During a Break From Feeling"

            Someone will tell you the number of your story
            When you are called be ready to act your story
            Read the story again to see if you have everything on your list
            Act so the other boys and girls will know which story is yours

            Then it twists into something more like Life Advice:

            Do not be disappointed if your story is not as good as the others
            Happiness is not always good, it can lead to lacklusterness

            Word is the only word true to itself

            Giant glory of snow, go tell your story
            Little flakes, know when to stop

*

KAREN—

SARAH—

DENNIS—Winner of a choice. Maybe "Word is the only word true to itself" is a sort of assurance. If we imagine a teacher, as you put it, and she's telling the kid, hey just tell your story, act it out for all to see. And one reading of this may have an absent (or absented) instruction don't worry, anyway "Word is the only word true to itself".

Taken that way, it seems to have a calming, coaxing effect. But it's also saying that "your" story is not "yours" at all, not truly, for only the word "word" belongs to itself, represents itself as representation, thus most sincerely.

Reflecting on your notes regarding erasure poetry and they bring me to believe that there's a good deal of meta going on here, it's saying that acting as if it's yours is all it takes, it's your story even if you just picked up a number. The point seems to me that since all stories go through words (which are less true to themselves than "word" anyway) then all stories, no matter how authentic or heartfelt, it's all actually just drawing lots, making things fit, acting words out to the point that they're yours, and indisputably so.

KAREN—

DENNIS—I missed that God imagery (not to mention the pregnant pause), but yes, it's there come to think of it, not only in "Giant glory" but most importantly in "Word" and maybe that's what tangentially leads to pregnancy, after all "...the Word was made flesh..."

That's a cool hobby: stay insane!

But how about that title: "During a Break From Feeling" . . . maybe that "break" also has something to do with the pregnancy of the pause?

KAREN—

SARAH—

KAREN—

SARAH—

KAREN—

DENNIS—The Pessoa link was a surprise, and is definitely fertile. Thanks for this thread! Eager for the next one.

KAREN—