Wednesday, June 03, 2020

strange spring | the overlook poems


                           "Artists are 
dangerous, mixing sugar-like
into the even the best masonry.

Put it on paper and it's there
forever. The rich men summer
in the mountain and you bring them

champagne. Maintain the forest
that threatens to eat them. The drains 
are always clogged with hair and small

animals that gnawed their way into
the pipes."

from Overlook

I was reading through the Overlook poems again today, having finished off what I think was the last of them 'over the weekend.  I've been musing over how strange it is that a project that just sort of started out inspired by a movie about a haunted hotel and an abusive husband turned out in the long run to be about capitalism and artists. But then again, it's been a strange spring. One of the things that always caused a certain disconnect whenever I watched the movie was the juxtaposition of the lux hotel lobby / rooms and the space the Torrances actually live in. The public vs. the more private areas of the hotel. The sleek lines of 70's decor and the disrepair and claustrophobic floral wallpaper. How larger spaces narrow to smaller ones. The decadence of the gold ballroom and the role of the caretaker--the male anger of both. The novel Jack Torrance can't write, his rage, his abuse of his wife and child, all tied together with the expansiveness of tourist culture.  And of course, capitalism, like the hotel, is haunted by the backs it broke to exist. All of these things came together as I was writing, and though it was a slow start due to pandemic brain, I also think the pandemic had a role in shaping the project too. While I don't necessarily feel as claustrophobic as a snowed-in hotel, I do feel the strain of capitalism pushing reopening probably before we should.  The division between the classes when it comes to people's experience of the last three months.  It turned out to be a nice little series of poems (about 20 I think) , and I think maybe I will start sending them out into the world soon.  Since it's not part of a longer book, and probably won't be, maybe I'll make a little zine in a few months after I give them some time to settle.                       

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