Brandon Shimoda
Winter Dwelling
fragments from a relationship                                        (page 3)
western Maine, 2010-2011

NOVEMBER 10. Your presence and your voice were the gate and temple (both) I needed to pass through before confronting my own abyss. I think my attitudes or feelings towards reading—and poetry—have always been mixed, though the deeper I get into them, and the more occasions arise for me to explore those feelings, the more mixed they become. I feel like a ghost—I feel like a ghost beforehand and after. I'm not entirely sure how I feel during, but not exactly—or even nearly—like myself. I feel, and increasingly, that I am not the best representative for my poems, maybe even myself. Writing them is partly a stay against this confusion, or a working deeper into it—though no resolution comes, and often because I'm not even asking for it. I think I also need to change—and does it happen deep in the woods?

NOVEMBER 10. First I tell you how discouraged I got, then I say you've got to get over your reluctance. Kind of a mixed message. I was really happy to hear you read last night. I thought you were compelling and entertaining. I liked the way you mixed up material from your different books—I was moved around by the shifting tones, and rooted in the steady unfolding of the scroll. I'd like you to read everywhere just because I think people should hear you. You might get discouraged, I don't know. I'm a moody person and I change my mind a lot. It was important for me to get out and try to reach people with my work. It changed me and I needed to change and now I need to change again, so how I feel is colored by the need to not repeat myself. You know what I mean?

NOVEMBER 10. Your reading was stellar! The tumultuous cascade of particulate data that scrolled out of you really enveloped as a porous surround and a complex neurological web—Big Bang effect, quasar formations, event horizons, expanding molecular structures. The way you lace the subtle with the raw and volatile is something that interests me greatly. I really thought it was brilliant and I commented to CAConrad today on the telephone that, “Brandon Shimoda is genius.” There’s a total recall aspect to your modality. Time is rubbery in your work but then a glass shatters into an infinite number of smithereens. The valences that are concrete implode/explode into/out of the effervescent. Omnipresent but also extremely intimate. The clashing vectors spawn dynamically. I felt a revival within …

NOVEMBER 12. The lake is overwhelmingly still today—that manifests the world between two celestial planes as a thin, precarious thread of land, on which everything takes place—dividing and detailing itself, endlessly. The water level has risen—the stillness has affected the appearance of ice along the shore, though there is no ice—not yet that cold—just elements conforming their inner oasis. It is all temporary—it is all temporary.

NOVEMBER 18. The further I go into this, the more strange any kind of "poetic" response becomes—not in general, but specifically—writing not "poetry"—not being conscious of what it is—but rudimentary notes, basic shapes, with the slightest of vocabularies—my brain dragging onto some plateau, my body in the recesses where it might take time to be drained. I've been walking slowly through the MAUSOLEUM—though the tombs are empty, and try as I might to rise some embodying wick from the ends of my fingers, I fear they might always be empty. I wrote today, "I AM FARMING A VERY PRESENT OBSCURITY"—“poetry" the adjacent vessel, also something of a suit, though being naked is the requirement. Walking through these empty woods, walking freely, turning to dust when caught up on any fragment. Reading today how some of the pilots and crew of the Enola Gay had an early morning (midnight) breakfast of pineapple fritters, which they loved, couldn't get enough of—they left after 2 am, for the long flight from Tinian to Japan. Pineapple fritters do sound good. Why the fuck does it matter what they had for breakfast? But it does ... oh it does ... I am tracing my days upon a projection, and what might come out the other end of that light's throw is precisely the grave on the wall.

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