Spring 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 2 Nonfiction |

‘She Encouraged the Separation’—Poetry and Gravity

1. A word can change everything. 2. "Secrete us in reality" says Wallace Stevens—a line I can't forget reading for the first time. I still hear the verb as a form of "secret," suggesting to me that the self, the "us," whom we think we know, will be concealed, and perhaps lost to us, within the actual as it unfolds. And I also hear the verb as a form of "secretion," so that the line means "cover us with the liquid and ever-flowing material of existence." In either case, the line holds for me a paradox that seems deeply true—beginning as a call for concealment, and ending by suggesting that it is our understanding of what is real that will be the material of our mystery. The fluidity and mystery of human experience became frighteningly apparent to me when I was eight, when my mother began to exhibit fierce mood swings after her father's sudden death. I remember how I'd come into a room and find her staring at nothing. I'd be completely unnerved by her eyes, the way

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Rusty Morrison’s Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta) was published in January 2014. After Urgency won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize, the true keeps calm biding its story won the Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, the Northern California Book Award, Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize and the Di Castagnola Award from Poetry Society of America. Her first book, Whethering, won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Her poems are anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (second edition), The Arcadia Project: Postmodern Pastoral, Beauty Is a Verb, and elsewhere. She is copublisher of Omnidawn.

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Escape Fable

By Rusty Morrison

1. A word can change everything. 2. "Secrete us in reality" says Wallace Stevens—a line I can't forget reading for the first time. I still hear the verb as a […]

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