We start with a map;
behind it is the actual world. Sometimes
our mind scrapes against it and the delicately illustrated rind
peels back: ornamental serpents bisected, borders scissor-cut
into absence, small towns and mountain ranges left with only
half a name--Look! behind these gaps
lurk balconies whose yellow windows are a door
we can’t ever walk through, the bright glow
of McDonalds, a lord’s mansion or is it Parliament,
a street of crowds where the couples
walk by, two by two. We are not of them. We are ourselves:
Janus-faced, twins in one body. My mind that says
yes, every little ship in the distance
unseen. My mind that says, no, stay here.
This cross-hatching is painful. What we see of the world
is a freedom that looks like bars--
isn’t a map supposed to lead somewhere?
We were given the wrong legend
my brother tells me, no proper way to read the symbols.
My brother, myself;
my shadow, my other side.
I cover our head with our hood. In one interpretation, we are split, disassociated;
from another, we are a body conjoined.
Kate Angus, Dioscuri
American, playing from New York, NY, USA
Kate Angus is a founding editor of Augury Books. Her writing has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Barrow Street, Subtropics, The Awl, The Hairpin, Gulf Coast, Court Green, Third Coast, Verse Daily and Best New Poets 2010. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from The New School University. A former Writer in Residence at Interlochen Arts Academy, she has also taught at Notre Dame School, The New School, LIM College and Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is the Creative Writing Advisory Board Member for The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities.
Thoughts on the Telephone process
This was an interesting and challenging (which I mean in the best possible way) experience. I had to curb my own tendencies to follow my lines where they wanted to go and, rather, be faithful to transcribing the visual art I was given into my own art form. This imposed restraint, rather than being stifling, forced me to open up new doors within my poem--doors I would never otherwise have found. The difficulty of the project was what was enjoyable about it: the challenge was a source of pleasure because it made me stretch in new directions.