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Notebooks by Allison Joseph

I was reading a book of poetry today when I saw this one and immediately thought of embodiment! I figured other people here would relate to this, too.

source: 'The Best American Poetry 2011', page 61


What good are notebooks?
--- Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime"

I crave them as if craving something carnal,
blankness of pages erotic, clean with sensual
possibilities and ready to be dampened
by my insistent ink, swirls of language

made plain on thin blue lines taut
as tightrope. I collect them like other women
collect shoes or boyfriends, fingering pristine
pages while standing hushed in aisles

of bookstores and stationary shops,
stroking plush-covered ones with a single
finger, loving floral-print ones more
than actual flowers, needing another and

another until my house is overrun
with them, and they start arranging
cocktail hours and support groups----
for the ones I have not written in

grow lonely, and the ones managing
the burden of my desperate handwriting
need someone to talk to, peers to confide in
about these dog-eared secrets and semi-scribbled

imaginings, covert half-truths, outright lies.
How they congregate around my bed,
waiting for me to pick one up, start
another hazy page of scrawls and arrows,

cross-outs and restarts, confessions
that will never be confessions until
I judge them fit for judgment. Sometimes
when fate has flattened me with its one

hard fist, only the black-and-white
composition notebooks of childhood
will do, marbled covers unchanged
from when I first learned cursive----

one letter reaching for the next
in the crazy tilting of my untested hand.
Only those wide-ruled lines will do,
those patient beginnings.

- Allison Joseph


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
I really like this... I have boxes of blank books waiting in like to be used... :)
Mar. 18th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)

I have a drawer two or four
in which noteboks filled inhabit
page edges lightly curled and turned
delicately grimy from handling and use
from being taken out and carried about
from my waking morning till sleep at night
when performing their appointed service
of being available to in constantcy serve
as the place into which I write.
Mar. 18th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
Mar. 20th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
I am a big fan of notebooks, I carry a few. I have just filled my first moleskine sketchbook.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )