brief notes from amherst

by sophie

– Finally, at Juniper. Left Pittsburgh at 5:30 a.m. last Sunday, drove through a rainy sunrise listening to Patrick Wolf’s new album, “The Bachelor.” My experience here thus far is proving immensely refreshing – provocative & productive. Today I walked into town & bought a small Cavafy & Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Hooks.” Amherst Books has a fantastic used section. Also bought, on instinct, “Inside the Blood Factory” by Diane Wakoski, a poet whom I’ve never heard of.

– Hello solitude, my sweet.

– I’ve been thinking a lot about Nan Goldin again, the poetry in her photography, the intersection of private acts & the catching movement of art. Particularly thinking about her photographs of couples & of those where her subjects are isolated & naked.

The obviously sensual or erotic is too easily gazed at as mere spectacle, body as artifact, alien. There’s a subtlety to desire. When I wait through my initial responses (arousal, an experience of beauty) I find something uncomfortable or frightening…and, OH – ! Rilke, perhaps this is what you meant… …

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