Lauren Nicole Nixon
The Montréal Review, November 2011
Letter #4: Telling
dear claudette, the fact of the matter is that echoes
pose a threat. that being said, can you name the place
that exists between a waft of nostalgia and a haunting?
I've been trying to for years but cannot adequately
do so. your body has been taking notes from the very
beginning-a series of events and happenings and
everything in between. invisible x-rays stored
near your tailbone/field notes dotted along your hip
flexor. an aching spine is a hint that something needs
to be dug up. a creaky joint is a hint that you need
to get down to business. all bodily fodder requires slow
digestion. some of it is not palatable at all. see, it feels
like sifting the soot requires only a tough-looking jacket
these days-the rigor is gone. except the sweat above
your brow is still there and provides me with a sliver
of hope. please store this sliver not in your front pocket
but under your fingernails with the dirt that will build up
over the next few years or so.
these are the tight spots: between a wall and a wall/patch of nettles nearby/wasp hissing real close to your ear. the collective memory recalls spills and scrapes so clearly that birthdays and ferris wheel rides become distant and hazy. like the salt that's never on your end of the table. a singing kettle seems to become a trap door. your mama has set out your party dress for you, but she's misplaced the streamers. this is not unlike her. the music's going, but you've forgotten how to move your hips in just the right way. you imagine that it looks kinda like a curtain swaying back and forth when a window is wide open. something smooth and full like that. floating along real easy.
Lauren Nicole Nixon is a Brooklyn-based artist representative and poet. Nixon holds an M.A. in Arts Politics from New York University. Recent and forthcoming work can be seen in Bone Bouquet, Sugar House, The Tulane Review, apt, 491, Jelly Bucket, No, Dear, Spillway and In Posse. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee www.laurennicolenixon.com