Melanie Hubbard
January/February 2013

 

Melanie HubbardMelanie Hubbard won the 2011 Book Award in Poetry from Subito Press for We Have With Us Your Sky (2012). A chapbook, Gilbi Winco Swags, was published by Cannibal Books in 2008. Poems have appeared in Fence, Swink, Typo, horse less review, Cannibal, and Strange Machine. Reviews, scholarly articles, and personal essays have appeared in a variety of periodicals. She has taught at New College of Florida, Eckerd College, and the University of Tampa. She received a PhD in literature from Columbia University and is writing a book on Emily Dickinson’s poetics and practices in manuscript.
 

Statement of Poetics

Some things I believe: That language forms us and deforms us. That the coherent self is an enabling fiction and an ossified form. That a lost speaker is on a mission. That language is like the crust of a tube-worm. That language used in the service of opening out our naturalized conceptions is a humane instrument of liberation, and that this revolution must be constant. That such poems are both atomic and social. That a poem might be the temple of a holy spirit, a spirit that is holy because it is not entirely human, consisting of letters, the traces of a prior making. That you can apply these letters as a compress to the wounds perhaps the letters themselves have caused. That it is good to scream. That this might require chance operations and the acceptance of the given or found. That relying on the brain’s necessary sense-making temporarily creates coherence out of chance, connections out of juxtapositions, meaning out of the necessity to forge our own bonds, and to break them. That language is a mass of disparate bacteria weighing up to three pounds in our bodies.

We Have With Us Your Sky experiences language as the necessary fall into being human, which is mostly the self’s desolation, its inconsolable losses. Though these losses are inflicted by institutions and enclosures carried by language, language might also be the burning vehicle both used up and abandoned on the way to humane response. The speakers of these poems are often possessed of a sardonic humor verging toward murderous rage—in effect identifying with the oppressor while mounting an invulnerable defense of the self—but they are often also vulnerable, clueless, mistaken, lost, or stuck. They are wistful, they long, they can’t hear anything, they hear too much. The book’s title reads like a ransom note from the oppressor, a love note from the collective, and a cryptic indicator of the ability of language to express and destroy the self.



 

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