August 27, 2015
About Kristina Marie Darling
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over twenty collections of poetry and hybrid prose. Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome, as well as grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Kittredge Fund, the Ora Lerman Trust, and the Rockefeller Foundation Archive Center. She is currently working toward both a Ph.D. in English Literature at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo and an M.F.A. in Poetry at New York University.
About John Gallaher
John Gallaher is the author of five books of poetry, including Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (with G.C. Waldrep, 2011), and In a Landscape (2014), as well as two chapbooks, and two edited collections, The Monkey and the Wrench (with Mary Biddinger) and Time Is a Toy: the Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt (with Laura Boss). His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, Boston Review, Chicago Review, and elsewhere.
Are we dancing, then, or are we fighting? Maybe I should have stretched or done a warm-up lap. So, I will close my eyes and pretend we’re on the phone. A little background of electricity from something in the house running. Maybe the refrigerator. And some music upstairs. I’ll be so quiet that I’m almost not here at all. I will use my fear of being dead to focus on the way the walls meet each other and the floor and the ceiling. It’s how leaving is automatic, and will scoop us up like ice cream and deliver us, head first, into a soft landing. Are we having an emergency? Your blood pressure indicates you’re fainting. Just get me a glass of water, I’ll be fine. And faces in a gray wave, like billowing wallpaper, and always these voices off to the side that seem to have no interest in you. “Do you know what the photo looks like?” they’re asking. “Well, would you look at that,” they reply. They’re feeding you moments that jerk back away from you as you approach, over and over, until you learn not to try. I’m going to not try for the rest of the evening, 7:35. People are out walking dogs, forming a gray smear in arcs down the block, then up into patchy clouds and the last bit of sun. It’s how doors are magic. How you feel you’re descending through the floors of your old house watching yourself through the years at daily tasks. All these people around you raise their hands, waiting to be called on. Now you’re raising your hand as well.