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Inside Out: Mirror In the Bathroom


J.R. Uretsky
Women I've Known, Biblically: The Book of The Satan Performance sketch, 2012

Well, it’s mid December — a special time of year that may conjure up thoughts of snow and perhaps a warm sugary beverage or two. For an adjunct professor however, the valley between December 10th and January 14th is a desolate one. In bed, at noon I attempted to think of clever analogies for the dark, dark Winter Session. I came up with something stupid about an Oreo cookie with all the white stuff licked out and then checked to see if I recognized any students in my spring class, I miss my students. I miss having students. I also miss my paycheck.

After burying my lame Oreo analogy somewhere in my pillow, I began to think about my Women I’ve Known, Biblically project. The project is based in poetry-like, diaristic writing that has always made me a little uncomfortable because I’m not trained as a writer and who the hell cares about the Women J.R. Uretsky has Known, Biblically?

And so, I turn to people who are good at this stuff:

"The science of existence was completely out there for me to explore. Me, a twenty-five year old female. There’s no mystery why poetry is so elaborately practiced by the young. The material of poems is energy itself, not even language. Words come later."
Inferno, Eileen Myles

https://youtu.be/Yk_vryOmXLU"Or Paul Celan said that the poem was no different from a handshake. I cannot see any basic difference between a handshake and a poem—is how Rosemary Waldrop translated his German. The handshake is our decided ritual of both asserting (I am here) and handing over (here) a self to another. Hence the poem is that—Here. I am here. This conflation of the solidity of presence with the offering of this same presence perhaps has everything to do with being alive."
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Claudia Rankine


J.R. Uretsky
Women I've Known, Biblically: The Book of The Satan Performance sketch, 2012

"Or one meaning of here is 'In this world, in this life, on earth. In this place of position, indication the presence of,' or in other words, I am here. It also means to hand something to somebody—Here you are. Here, he said to her. Here both recognizes and demands recognition. I see you, or here, he said to her. In order for something to be handed over a hand must extend and a hand must receive. We must both be here in this world in this life in this place indicating the presence of."
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Claudia Rankine

Myles, Eileen. Inferno: (a Poet's Novel). New York: OR, 2010. Print.
Rankine, Claudia. Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf, 2004. Print.
The Beat, "Mirror In the Bathroom", I Just Can't Stop It, 1980.




About Author

JR Uretsky is December's artist in residence on Big Red & Shiny's blog series, Inside Out.

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