TUMBLR

A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Karen Green, Bough Down Maggie Nelson has it...

May 13, 2013
Permalink

Karen Green, Bough Down

Maggie Nelson has it covered:

The book consists of a series of prose poems, or individuated chunks of poetic prose, interspersed with postage-stamp-sized collages made by Green, who is also a visual artist. Collectively the text bears witness to the 2008 suicide of her husband, the writer David Foster Wallace, and its harrowing aftermath for Green…

Upon first read, Bough Down feels disorienting and surreal — like entering a drugged wormhole of grief, pills, and barely tolerable engrams and emotions, which appear via allegory, hallucination, synecdoche, and blur. Upon rereading, however, the bones of the book’s structure become admirably clear.

My favorite passage:

I take your parents to the lighthouse, I do. There is nothing but September fog to cover our shame, and your father laughs just like you, at the opacity. I want to eat the laugh, I want to rub it on my chest like camphor, I want to make a sound tattoo. I also want to bash these two small people together and see if a collision of DNA will give me my life back.

In the morning, my wife pointed out our son didn’t have kneecaps yet, and later that night I read this line: “I worry I broke your kneecaps when I cut you down.”

Filed under: my reading year 2013

149 notes

  1. unfetteredexistence reblogged this from austinkleon
  2. creativityismental reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  3. thedyketheywarnyouabout reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  4. theartofgrief reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  5. two-smoking--barrels reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  6. thewickedsnowqueen reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  7. namelessin314 reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  8. roseoftopaz reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  9. huckzors reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  10. englishmajorinrepair reblogged this from austinkleon
  11. kittensandweedandchicks reblogged this from austinkleon
  12. asteroidrecognition reblogged this from leavingtheplanet
  13. leavingtheplanet reblogged this from austinkleon
  14. fleshfarewell reblogged this from austinkleon and added:
    oh my god
  15. n1m1sha reblogged this from austinkleon
  16. forkdaddy reblogged this from austinkleon
  17. vambrace reblogged this from austinkleon
  18. fivethousandyearleap reblogged this from austinkleon
  19. carpe-yesterdiem reblogged this from austinkleon
Subscribe to my newsletter and get new art, writing, and interesting links delivered to your inbox every week.