Megan Burns to Gina Myers
Am I even equipped to write to you about your writing at this point? I feel like I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t watched that video of the woman finding her dog under rubble in the middle of an interview about the tornado in Oklahoma. It’s not that I don’t think it’s heartwarming, it’s just that, if that’s all we’ve got, I need to save it for more disparate or desperate measures. I think about holding it down, holding it in, about the “bruised wreckage of a self in the world” that you talk about and I wonder if it ever isn’t.
Maybe there are just some of us rooted in carrying where we are from; it seeps into the language and even if it is dilapidated, if it is factory not pastoral, if crumbling into water, well, whatever it is…it shapes the whole. Against what the news tells us, we carve out the sense from non: “And things would go on this way when this new war was replaced by another war.” The smallest things have their own logic when the world tries to swerve under us: “Last month I got a new credit card & didn’t pay the electric bill.” Or when you say, “Every poem is a love poem” and I just have to stop and walk away because I just know nothing anymore.
Remember when we went to the cemetery and talked about our deaths. You told me your last will is in this book in a poem but neither of us believed poetry is the self or was it we are both not lawyers, so who knows how legally binding a poem is. “I remember reading a line in a poem that said something about cleaning yesterday’s mistake from the stove & underlining it—that seemed like news, the kind of news you can free yourself from.” Is it too loud? The way we storm through language looking for something: “when we loved our country because we didn’t know better.”
When I got back from seeing you in Atlanta, I texted you to tell you I was gonna have your lines tattooed on me. We come from cities (Detroit/ New Orleans) we can’t leave behind, and I need to remember:
this city doesn’t
need me/ doesn’t
let it burn
These days I think too about what you say in “False Spring:” “This is my life, / this is my life, this is my fucking life.” Is it a mantra or a lament? Can we hold it against the hours, against a running commentary that invades all sense of what we think might be us as o.k.? Poems form us the way fear forms us, you can make a list. The truth is there’s no way to know how many times the heart can break and what the cost is. Is it dark to wonder/ wander? If we knew everything was going to end exactly as we wanted it to, what would be the point of learning how to hold on in the face of it. What can you find in the rubble if there is no rubble?
Love, Megan Burns
You can find Megan Burns and Gina Myers’ Weezy Collaboration over at Rap Genius.