Sunday, March 13, 2011

Elisa Gabbert

from The Self Unstable

Crows can tell one human from another, but we are unable to distinguish among various crows. This is mischaracterized as a paradox. Humans may be racist, but crows can’t read, and robots can’t really dance. All species evolve toward overspecialization. If you find anything other than food or sex interesting, it’s signaling.    


In a movie culture there is no play within the play. Writers hope for good actors, but when the acting is good you don’t notice the writing. The audience wants immersion, not realism; realism is no more immersive than reality, and no more a genre. If truth is a sliding scale, one must test the extremes.   


A paragraph is a way of saying one thing over and over again. Books are an act of supreme redundancy. What’s the difference between ambivalence and ambiguity? POV.


You lose naïveté before you gain wisdom. In the interim, you believe that everything is about sex. Your dreams are given to obvious motifs: the motif of your blows falling weak and ineffectual, glancing off the enemy. The motif of the foreign airport, being unable to pack, having nothing to wear. In dreams, even sex is symbolic of sex. All art is conceptual.

Elisa Gabbert is the poetry editor of Absent and the author of The French Exit (Birds, LLC) and Thanks for Sending the Engine (Kitchen Press). Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Pleiades, Salt Hill, and Sentence, among other journals, and her nonfiction has appeared in Mantis, Open Letters Monthly, and The Monkey & The Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics. She currently lives in Boston and blogs at The French Exit.