For much of my life, I’ve written in a journal. In the last few years, I’ve almost exclusively started writing fragments. I’m interested in the possibility of the form, how it allows me to write in a compact way, to capture sudden revelations and epiphanies, to acknowledge the limits of language within its very structure. Because of trauma, my mind has been changed, my way of thinking has been altered. I often describe myself as “shattered.” Fragments are the physical manifestation of that shatteredness. It is language that is in shards, but the accumulation of those shards creates a new form, creates a whole where there was once an absence or just random bits and pieces. As Muriel Rukeyser once wrote in “The Poem as Mask“:
Now, for the first time, the god lifts his hand,
the fragments join in me with their own music.
I see my own writing in that way. I am taking my brokenness and assembling my own ruins into something new, something that is still broken and cracked but alive. I view writing as a very personal act. I know other writers will have a different conception of writing, but this is mine. I want to articulate the wordlessness inside me. I want to speak the unspeakable. I want to write myself. I want to give voice to my alienation, grief, loneliness, fear, suffering, and trauma. I need to write these things not so that they will disappear or diminish–that is impossible–but so that I can bear them.
Continue reading “The Breathing Body in the Act of Creation: A Writing Experiment”