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Benjamin Winkler

Statement:

 

When Nate Pritts first asked me to write something about A Body Manual for H_NGM_N, I was nervous. These poems are intensely personal. I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say without laying myself bare. What I can divulge is that I am interested, with these poems, in exploring the unknowability of the body and the body’s limits, as well as trauma and how it serves to disconnect us from our communities. I think that these two ideas go hand-in-hand. I am particularly interested in the psychological concept of the body as a screen, protecting our psyches from the vicissitudes of the everyday.

 

 

XVI.

 

as if     asleep      the body

manual     press down     unto

the weed     dry dirt     press

 

hard     in small     of back

we     watch     the sun

change shape     drink

 

the air     before us     cheap

liquor     stoln cigarettes

tell all     if as     were dead

 

 

 

 

 

XVII.

 

tell     self     save     the body

unto     maregrass     weed

if as     were dead

 

ribs      cleaved     from breast

the rupture     skin     hepatic

we     gasp     the thinning air

 

these     fall colors     swim

before      thine eyes     seen

glory be      still try to     breathe

 

 

 

 

XVIII.

 

an indifferent     summer     here

nakesweat     sloughshirts

as skin     here      lain

 

rest      haptic       industry we

couple again      again

stoln cigarettes       father’s liquor

 

here      sky turned      across

the sun      yourn     diffidence

this time     mine      gathering breath

 

 

 

 

XIX.

 

weight     down     self

lain self     bedlinen

birthstain     sheets     we

 

find     notches     in small

of back     columnar       reach

the spine     first fingers

 

mouth     sore with sleep

the bloodtongue     left its

mark     left all     of

 

 

 

XX.

 

panicgrass     feverfew     ournselve

lain     down     to rest

stalks     drawn     nakesweat

 

bruise     hepatic      on the

breast     cleave ribs     again

the barren      field     begun

 

grow back     feverfew

paingrass      these     the days

all      still     begin to

 

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