Posts Tagged ‘Elisa Gabbert’

Two Girls Decorating a Cat by Candlelight

March 12, 2009 Comments off

The cat decelerates at the sight of the negligee,
but negligibly, she’s a feisty little thing. It’s like
she knows the difference between cheap & brilliant,
& costume jewels are for the proverbial birds
who chirp in the rafters, heavy on the reverb.
Dragging her ribbons she darts to the window—
the sweet release of death, to the feline,
is a self-indulgent wish. She purrs at the snow
& her fur is windblown. Do the girls
interpret her shivers as fear or something
fancier? Dancing animals populate
their dreams. It is almost dreamtime,
so say the clock’s glockenspiels.
Say goodnight to the haloed room.

by Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney

Download the MP3 (reading by Kathleen)

Process notes

“Two Girls Decorating a Cat by Candlelight” is an ekphrastic poem based on the painting by Joseph Wright of Derby.

For more notes on the authors’ collaborative process, see “Rasterization.”


February 23, 2009 1 comment

Words may not refer to anything, but if they do
they TV the objective world, white noising
over what might’ve been a nice view. On TV
membership has its privileges. In the library
I try to “get lost” in a “slender volume” but
the volume’s too low. Sarcastic & bleak,
TV gets me. Even though TV doesn’t know
how to love me. How I want it to watch me.
No one can keep track of my saccades,
but “Vide” can be used to direct a reader’s
attention to what’s on TV: basically
a forced obliteration of the landscape
w/ TV music. Allowing yourself to be used
is the best way to be used. Shibboleths
issue forth from the muted TV.

by Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney

Download the MP3 (reading by Elisa)

Process notes

Kathleen and Elisa have been collaborating on poems since February of 2006. All collaboration has taken place via email while Elisa has been living in Boston and Kathleen has been living in Provincetown, Tacoma, and now Chicago. They tend to kick off each round of collaboration by deciding to work in a particular form, either a pre-existing one such as a sonnet, or one of their own devising, such as a backwards poem. They usually compose line by line, with each of them reserving the right to veto or call a do-over on her collaborator’s contribution.

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