Saturday, February 28, 2009

Words Where Wounds Are

This is basically what's going through my head, after three weeks of travel to give talks and readings (in Chicago for AWP, in Louisville for the 20th century conference, and in Indiana for a reading a couple nights ago). Pure murmurings, nothing more coherent than that, but honeyed and pulse-steady.

I wish I could recount some details, but just one for now: after the reading with Danit Brown, Mitchell Douglas, N.S. Koenings, and I, a handful of people wanted to talk war, politics, and poetry--a former Orthodox Jew and IDF soldier who turned anti-war and pro-Palestinian; a guy who taught in Bethlehem the year before, still unable to put language to his experience; three women (one from Romania, one from Pakistan, another former New Yorker staffer) also seeking how to place words where wounds are, to translate trauma. I felt a tremendous gratitude that, somehow, my words resonated beyond the limits of my voice and eyes and found ready ears.

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