Friday 25 July 2008

Lucia Perillo on her "writing space"

The American Poetry Review has a column called APR in the Studio in which poets are invited to describe their studios, workrooms, desks, or wherever it is that they compose their poems. In the May/June issue of APR, Lucia Perillo, who David Kirby has called "the funniest poet writing today" in the New York Times, took the column in a different, more intimate, direction, and described instead the state of her "internal" writing space, that place in her physical brain where her poems come from. Poetry Daily has made that column available to read online. Here is a sample:

In what computer people call the meat world, I wrote always in a place that had a window. Otherwise there's not much to say (a door rests on top of two filing cabinets that have been moved from window to window). Of more interest is the internal studio. What to call it—encephalic? Virtual? Made-from-meat-yet-not? The broodio? The stain?
Here's a picture, because what we find most titillating about this column is the image that gives us a glimpse of the poet's actual furniture and rugs.
Though I am not enough of a scientist to be able to work out the mind-body correspondences, like anybody else I start in the deep hub that's said to be reptilian. It's also where the doctor saw something anomalous when she looked at my brain scans, a wispy streak like the tail of a comet trailing across my corpus callosum (I knew it was bad when she called it interesting). So the generative reptile center is defective, and what comes out of it is scrambled, gnarled, free? (the hospitable way to say it) from conventional language. Or you could say the place is a wreck, and what comes out of it is gibberish.
You can read the rest of Perillo's column here.

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