TYPES OF FORGETFULNESS




Collage on Postcard. Anne Sexton and W.S Merwin, New York, November 11, 1968. Photograph by Jill Krementz.





I struggled greatly to write a piece on friendship. I could easily write the difficulties of building relationships or the entire worlds I created inside my head from single moments. To write is to push the truth. It was not that I didn’t want to be indulgent – if anything this is what attracted me to the project. The perceived ability to express the feeling.

The feeling of having someone to return to…

I have always seen myself as a solitary individual. Many writers have written on the forgiveness of writing and journaling. The journal is never judgmental. Writing is a way to remember.

Paper and pen. My faithful companion.

Give me silence, water, hope. 1


lost


spring

rain pours from the gutters and everywhere else it is lost in the trees 2

ice melts to reveal the frozen decaying leaves lost in time

i have been writing this poem forever
it is for you

i remember
i remember, i said, i thought being in the wide valley is the only time i felt small like

imagining the trees submerged in water and smooth grey pebbles skimming stones, sleeping below the yellow cliff face

on northern rata parasitic shrubbery extends high above the forest canopy as though smothering another were the only way to survive

feel like this tree has lived so many lives

i want to send home empty envelops with writing on the outside

i have nothing to hide


pharmakon


in The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt called totalitarianism ‘organized loneliness’.
3

one of my favourite pastimes is hiking in the wilderness. since you are not here, i more often do this alone.

the way the light refracts over forested mountains gives them their deep green, almost navy-black glow

the deep euphoria of trees

loneliness: the notable feature of the individual experience under high capitalism.

but my circumlocutions went nowhere.

*

capitalism necessitates the transaction as a core social interaction, replacing mutual reciprocity and gift exchange.

did you know?
the “transaction is the most mediocre form of human intercourse. there is more human interaction in murder than there is in a transaction. while handing someone a dollar bill we are necessarily entering his personal space but keeping ourselves at arms distance.” 4

did you know the only reason the economy exists is to stop us from staring into each other's eyes?
5

working to, and then through exhaustion

we all need a hug and even want to get close to each other, but we are afraid of each other.

money is our ongoing attempt to replace intimacy. 6

poor kids isolated from everyone
the most amount of destruction.
the world is more peaceful according to the numbers…
7

think of a place where you feel safe.
remember that you weren’t born afraid.

you withdraw into the world to someplace you could exist
before you were made by fear


window


how difficult it is to begin
i begin by reading
i don’t stop reading

i read, ‘Pharmakon means drug, but it is neither defined as poison or cure. In the dialogues of Plato, he uses the word to refer to everything from an illness, it’s cause, it’s cure, a recipe, a charm, a substance, a spell, artificial colour, and paint. Plato does not call fucking pharmakon, but then again, while Plato talks plenty about love, Plato does not talk about fucking.’ 8

the world is pouring through my open hands like water

pacing now, there is glass stuck in the bottom of my foot. every step is painful, but i do
not tend to it

a constant reminder of when we were last together

*

do you remember flowers blooming all over white walls?

a species of jasmine which open at night that releases a scent to attract butterflies.

cestrum nocturnum has a complex root system finds adequate sources for water survival, lessening the need for constant watering

there are so many types of forgetfulness…

the water as a way
of carrying people.
this weather and
these mountains. 9

the room grew small and began to close in on me

i tell you
i want to see you but i am sick
can you learn to know someone by osmosis?

the types of forgetfulness


the forgetfulness of time [read: forgetfulness of being late when you know you will be], the forgetfulness of childhood, the forgetfulness of to-do lists, the forgetfulness of the colour of the sky at any given moment and now, the forgetfulness of the incredible feeling of the river in your pockets, the forgetfulness of hands...

treading through snow, down cambridge sidewalk the streetlamps emanating soft light which cascades down the faces of buildings. the tread of my boots bare, i am searching for patches of slick ice. waiting for the moment i would feel the ground moving beneath me...

up ahead board walk clad in glib christmas lights. i remember i felt as though you were trying to hide something from me. i was trying to express what i felt, so reticent in my mind. the scintillating debris of history rushes down before me. dream.

divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions 10

i say, being with you makes me feel so good
and i’m trying to be cool
but i will lose

half an hour of silence

i am by your side.


by Jessica Lim


___________________________________________________________________
1 Neruda, Pablo. Canto General XII in Poetry: Pablo Neruda. The Wilson Quarterly. Vol 22, No 2. 1998.

2 Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2014. 9

3 Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Meridian Books, 1958. 476.

4 Levitch, Timothy S. "Wall Street: The Story of What Happened to Our Intimacy." In The Outlaw Bible of American Essays. Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006. 43.

5 ibid.

6 ibid.

7 Rivera, Gustavo. Sad Vacation: 000. Introduction. 2015. Zine.

8 Nelson, Maggie. Bluets. Wave Press. 2009. 181.

9 Nadelberg, Amanda. Bright Brave Phenomena. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coffee House Press. 2012. 23.

10 Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. New York: Grove Press, 1954.



Bibliography:

Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Meridian Books, 1958. Print.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. New York: Grove Press, 1954.

Levitch, Timothy S. "Wall Street: The Story of What Happened to Our Intimacy." In The Outlaw Bible of American Essays. Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006.

Nadelberg, Amanda. Bright Brave Phenomena. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coffee House Press. 2012.

Nelson, Maggie. Bluets. Wave Press. 2009. Neruda, Pablo. Canto General XII in Poetry: Pablo Neruda. The Wilson Quarterly. Vol 22, No 2. 1998.

Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2014.

Rivera, Gustavo. Sad Vacation: 000. Introduction. 2015. Zine.